Cell C Rejigs Board, Mark and Brett Levy Departs

With immediate effect, both co-founders and co-CEOs of Blue Label Telecoms Brett and Mark Levy are relinquishing their positions as non-executive directors of the Cell C board.

Blue Label Telecoms: Mark and Brett Levy
Blue Label Telecoms: Mark and Brett Levy

The co-founders of Blue Label  Telecoms, which owns 45% of Cell C, after having bought the stake in a R5.5-billion deal last year, have resigned from the mobile phone operators’ board.

With immediate effect, both co-founders and co-CEOs of Blue Label Telecoms Brett and Mark Levy are relinquishing their positions as non-executive directors of the Cell C board.

The market value of Blue Label Telecoms has been hammered by Cell C’s troubles in the past few years.

“[The Levy Brothers] will be concentrating their efforts on Blue Label only,” Blue Label Telecoms informed investors on Thursday.

It is understandably, Blue Label Telecoms has written down the carrying value of its Cell C investment or stake to zero.

Furthermore, Cell C today announced changes to its board, including the appointment of a new chairman and board member representatives from shareholders Blue Label Telecoms and Net1.

Existing Cell C Board member, Joe Mthimunye will take over as non-executive chairman effective 20 November 2019.

Following his two-year term, outgoing chairman, Kuben Pillay, has agreed to remain in the position until a handover process has been concluded.

“The Board would like to thank Pillay for his strong and ethical leadership which has strengthened governance within Cell C.  He was instrumental in building sound relationships with Cell C’s key stakeholders.”

Mthimunye, a Chartered Accountant (SA), is a co-founder and former partner of Gobodo Incorporated, a forerunner to SNG Grant Thorton.  He is currently Executive Chairman of aloeCap Proprietary Limited and an independent non-executive director on the Blue Label Telecoms Board.  He also serves on the Board of directors of various non-listed companies in which aloeCap is invested.

In addition to Mthimunye’s appointment, Blue Label Telecoms and Net1 have nominated new directors as shareholder representatives on the Cell C Board.  Gary Harlow and Jerry Vilakazi will replace Brett Levy and Mark Levy as the Blue Label Telecoms representatives, while Paul Edwards will replace Herman Kotze on behalf of Net1.

Harlow is a Chartered Accountant (SA), an associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) and a fellow chartered management accountant (UK). He is currently the executive Chairman of Unihold Limited, where he led the transformation from an engineering conglomerate to an International IT and telecommunications group in the role of CEO prior to its delisting through a management buyout.  Harlow has served on numerous private and public company Boards.

Vilakazi is currently the executive Chairman of Palama Group of companies which he co-founded. He previously served as CEO of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA).  He is also the Chair of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), Mpumalanga Gambling Board and Trubok (Proprietary) Limited.  Over the years he has held various Chairman and directorship roles at companies in the construction, gaming, mining, retail, recruitment and training industries.

Edwards career has spanned Africa and Asia and covers banking systems, satellite TV, electronic media, telecommunications and payments. He is a former CEO of Multichoice, Johnnic, MTN and Chairman of Starcomms, a Nigerian telecommunications company.  He is currently Deputy Chairman of Nasdaq-listed NET1 UEPS, Chairman of ZappGroup Africa and Equilibre Bio-energy Productional and Director of Mauritius and JSE-listed Lighthouse Capital. He has a BSc and MBA from the University of Cape Town.

“The Cell C Board is grateful for the contributions of outgoing Board members over the last two years and welcomes the incoming Board members.”

The Cell C Board comprise the following directors:

  • Joe Mthimunye, Non-Executive Chairman (effective 20 November 2019)
  • Douglas Craigie Stevenson, CEO
  • Zaf Mahomed, CFO
  • Lindiwe Mthimunye, Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Alex Smith, Non-Executive Director
  • Gary Harlow, Non-Executive Directort
  • Jerry Vilakazi, Non-Executive Director
  • Larry Nestadt, Deputy Chairman, Non-Executive Director
  • Paul Edwards, Non-Executive Director

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