A Cell C executive who oversaw compensation and benefits at the mobile phone company has, according to insiders, been ‘fired’.

TechFinancials has reliably learned that Wayne Heard, Cell C’s executive for compensation and benefits, who started working for the company in February 2013, left last month.

Cell C did not respond to queries on the matter since yesterday.

However, Cell C has previously stated that they do not comment on reasons why executives leave the company, except for the CEO.

Wayne Heard
Wayne Heard. Image source: Linkedln

On Saturday impeccable sources at Cell C told TechFinancials that Heard was initially suspended just after compiling a “correct head count” of Cell C’s staff complement.

He was, thereafter, pushed to agree to take a mutual separation package that bars him from disclosing anything about Cell C, plus his reasons for departure, said insiders.

They told TechFinancials that the true Cell C’s staff complement remains “a guarded secret”.

Total figures of the workforce at Cell C don’t tally with the actual numbers. To this day, Cell C has failed to give out accurate staff numbers.

Heard’s LinkedIn profile confirms that he left the company last month, but attempts to reach him failed.

He joins a growing list of other executives, who left the company without any public explanation.

Cell C has already lost several top executives

These include Michelle Beetar, Cell C’s chief customer officer, who is leaving at the end of September 2019. She is regarded as a key manager in retaining and attracting customers at Cell C.

On 1 March 2019, Jose Dos Santos relinquish his position as the CEO of Cell C.

The company said Dos Santos will take up a role as a consultant offering strategic advice to the chairman of the Cell C board. In this new role, he will be involved in the delivery of Cell C’s strategic intent, which includes the reshaping of Cell C’s debt to ensure the company’s continued sustainability.

The company has also withdrawn its Miss South Africa sponsorship after five years as a major sponsor of the pageant, signaling deeper problems.

Last May, Cell C chief financial officer, Tyrone Soondarjee also announced his departure from the position he occupied since June 2017. He cited “personal circumstances” for his decision to leave Cell C. He will join his family’s business.

As the company at the time continued to face liquidity concerns, Cell C chief procurement and property officer, Sherhaad Kajee, and chief digital officer, Nihmal Marrie, also left the mobile phone operator.

Furthermore, the chief executive for content at Black, Cell C’s streaming service platform unit, also left the company less than two years in the role.

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,” a source told TechFinancials.

The mobile phone operator is currently facing strike action, which started this morning. For more read: Cell C To Seek An Urgent Court Interdict To Stopped Planned StrikeTo Stop Planned Strike

Cell C Strike
Cell C Strike

Cell C is the most positively discussed service provider on social media

Amid the raging discontent at the firm with workers on strike, Cell C which is seeking an interdict to stop the industrial action on Monday, claimed to be the most positively discussed service provider on social media, exceeding the industry average by 8.3%.

The company cited a report by BrandsEye that it also performed very well in terms of products, ethics and reputation.

“Customer service had a particularly positive and high impact on Cell C’s acquisition opportunities,” the report says.

According to the report, Cell C was shown to have the fastest response time on social media and the lowest share of unanswered complaints.

“Consumers had to wait 16 hours on average to receive a reply to their complaints on Twitter,” the report says. “Cell C took two hours to reply to Twitter complaints, making it the provider to respond to the most customers with the fastest reply-time.”

The report also assesses how effectively providers resolved consumer queries online by looking at Twitter data, isolating conversation threads where providers replied to consumers and consumers replied back. It noted that “Cell C had the lowest percentage of unhappy consumers following their interventions.” – lourie@techfinancials.co.za


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