A punishing weekly commute between his home in Franschhoek in the Western Cape and Johannesburg is what prompted Vox Telecom CEO Tony van Marken to step down.
Van Marken, who is leaving Vox at the end of March after five years at the company, tells TechCentral that he wants to spend more time with his wife and two children, aged 13 and 15. Moving his family to Johannesburg was not an option, he says.
He says he’d been planning to step down in 2010, but the right opportunity hadn’t presented itself because of preparation for Vox’s year-end financial results and other commitments at the company.
Van Marken, whose day-to-day responsibilities will be assumed by Vox Telecom group MD Doug Reed, says the constant commuting had become too much. “I usually did Tuesday morning to Thursday night [in Johannesburg], and sometimes Monday to Friday, and I’ve been doing that for a long time,” he says.
“To be fair to the company, it needs a CEO who will be there when he’s needed [and] I don’t feel I can make that commitment anymore. I decided to prioritise my family.”
Van Marken says he will take the rest of 2011 off, spending time cycling and mountain climbing. A keen mountaineer, Van Marken has led Vox staff on a number of expeditions up some of the world’s highest peaks.
Vox, which is trading under cautionary, continues to be in long-running talks that could affect its share price. It’s understood the company is planning to delist from the JSE’s AltX board. Van Marken says financial director Gert Koen will continue to lead the process, but declines to say what the discussions are about. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral
- See also: Van Marken to step down at Vox