South African media tycoon and self-made billionaire Koos Bekker has rejoined Naspers as a non-executive chairman.
Bekker – who stepped down as CEO of Naspers early last year and succeeded by Bob van Dijk – will replace Ton Vosloo who retired from the company with effect from 17 April 2015.
Vosloo has served on the Naspers board since March 1983. He chaired Naspers for 23 years.
Koos stand down from the Naspers board for a year to allow Bob the space to settle in with both Naspers top management and the board. He remained a board member of Tencent. As expected this month, Koos is taking over from Vosloo as announced last year by the company.
History is repeating itself again.
In 1997 Koos replaced Ton Vosloo as CEO of Naspers itself and the group ventured into the internet. After stumbling a few times, this is now Naspers’s biggest business segment.
Around 2008 the group entered ecommerce. It is investing heavily in an ambitious effort to become a global player in classifieds and transactional ecommerce.
When M-Net was formed in 1985, Naspers was a public but unlisted company with an implied market capitalisation of R24m. When Koos moved into Naspers as CEO in 1997, the then listed group had a market cap of R5,6bn.
Today Naspers’s market capitalisation is R769bn. It is the largest media group outside the US and China, larger than any in Europe.