Vuyani Jarana is leaving Vodacom to take the reins at troubled state-owned airline South African Airways.
Jarana, who has headed Vodacom enterprise business since 2012, will take the helm at the national carrier, national treasury said on Thursday.
Bloomberg in June reported that Jarana had been identified as the leading candidate to become the carrier’s first permanent CEO since November 2015. Chairwoman Dudu Myeni, who is close to President Jacob Zuma, was reportedly opposed to his appointment and had another candidate in mind.
Jarana first joined Vodacom in 2005 as its managing executive for the “eastern region”. He was later promoted to executive director for regional operations and later still as chief operating officer.
According to the earlier Bloomberg report, he was the preferred choice of a number of SAA board members appointed by national treasury last year.
Democratic Alliance MP Alf Lees, who is also the party’s deputy spokesman on finance, said Jarana has an “impressive record in business”.
“SAA presents challenges much bigger than Mr Jarana has ever faced before. The only way to save SAA will largely depend on Mr Jarana being given a free hand to take the robust action that is required in order to ruthlessly cut the bloated cost structure that is dragging the airline into liquidation.”
A Vodacom spokesman declined to comment on Jarana’s departure from the mobile operator, or who might replace him. — © 2017 NewsCentral Media