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Keith Matthews leaves post as BT Africa GM

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
South Africa , 17 Apr 2014

Keith Matthews leaves post as BT Africa GM

Keith Matthews is leaving his post as sub-Saharan Africa general manager for UK communications services provider BT after eight years at the company.

Key developments that Matthews has overseen for BT in Africa include having grown the unit’s staff headcount by three-fold. In November last year, Matthews told ITWeb Africa that BT employs 170 people in South Africa and between 15 to 20 in Nigeria.

Matthews has also overseen BT becoming a key anchor tenant on the FibreCo terrestrial network: South Africa’s largest ever open access underground fibre network.

Meanwhile, Matthews’ time at BT has further witnessed the opening of BT’s state-of-the-art showcasing centre and offices in Johannesburg

“I’ve been working with BT for the last eight years, and I joined in January 2006, and I’ve decided to actually leave the company,” Matthews told ITWeb Africa on Thursday.

“But it’s been very much an approach where I’ve been talking to my direct boss and we’ve kind of been talking about what needs to happen in the business. A lot of talk about transformation etc.

“We’ve appointed somebody in my role who will start on 1st of May. We can’t divulge any details yet, but obviously somebody who has been in the industry for a long time, with a lot of experience in the outsource space and so on, because that’s a key focus from a BT point of view,” Matthews explained.

Matthews told ITWeb Africa that he does not plan to remain within BT structures, while he has also not actively found another position elsewhere as of yet.

He further told ITWeb Africa that he plans on taking a “sabbatical” while he decides what to do next.

“The options were for me to stay and I just couldn’t see anything that was kind of really saying that’s want I want to do next,” Matthews told ITWeb Africa.

“Quite frankly for me also, I’m not mobile. I’m decidedly South African and I want to stay in the context of the South African and African market. And for me to go live in the UK or in Europe or even in Asia - in Singapore, Hong Kong - it just doesn’t fit with my plans and what my family’s plans are.

“There are always opportunities for me in BT, but most of them would have been outside of South Africa,” he said.

Matthews told ITWeb Africa that BT in South Africa is also in a healthy financial position, although he could not divulge exact figures.

“I took a seven-eight year view on the numbers and we’ve grown by more than 500%,” Matthews said, referring to aspects such as revenue and the bottom line in the business.

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