The chief executive for content at Black, Cell C’s streaming service platform unit, has left the company after just less than two years in the role, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Surie Ramasaray, the CEO for content at black, was responsible for the growth of the streaming service platform unit of Cell C.
“She negotiated an exit this month after she was technically demoted by Cell C,” said the source.
Cell C appointed Jose Enriques as a new chief of digital, fibre-to-the-home and black, making Ramasaray’s position redundant, added the source.
“She was promised to keep her salary and perks but lose the title of the chief executive for content at black. She wasn’t happy and decided to leave and move to another organisation to occupy a senior position.”
Cell C, which owns black, did not respond to a TechFinancials request for comment.
The streaming service platform was launched in November 2017 and Cell C disclosed three months ago that black is gaining traction among its key target audiences.
At the time, Cell C revealed that black has seen 2.5 million customers browsing its platform since launch. The company also disclosed that black is currently experiencing about 80, 000 user log-ins with 60, 000 completed transactions.
Cell C also revealed that the number of customers on a free trial on black has reached 260, 000.
Ramasaray joined Cell C in 2012. Previously occupied the position of executive head of products and services at both Cell C and MTN Zambia. She was also a senior manager for customers retentions, and also a product manager at MTN South Africa.
South Africa with millions of cellphone users is lucrative for streaming services. A significant number of people rely on their smartphones to watch movies or binge on series. Local subscribers use multiple sim cards.
The maturing market has attracted global players such as Netflix, a streaming service based in the US. The move has disrupted the market. As a result, local rivals are feeling the pressure and looking for innovative ways to compete.
In January, US-based video-on-demand service Netflix released data on the South African market showing that South Africans’ TV streaming habits are on par with international viewers.
The study found that 61% of South African viewers admitted to regularly binge watching online TV shows.