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South African telco Cell C loses CEO, Craigie Stevenson resigns

By , Africa editor
Africa , South Africa , 23 Mar 2023
Douglas Craigie Stevenson, Cell C CEO.
Douglas Craigie Stevenson, Cell C CEO.

Douglas Craigie Stevenson, CEO of South Africa’s fourth mobile operator, Cell C, has resigned.

Cell C’s biggest shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, advised shareholders today of Craigie Stevenson’s departure, saying he will step down as CEO of the mobile operator, effective 31 March.

Brett Copans has been appointed to lead the company as interim CEO and has been appointed to the board with immediate effect.

Blue Label, which hold a 49.5% stake in Cell C, informed shareholders that Craigie Stevenson elected to “resign for personal reasons and to pursue other opportunities in line with his personal career goals.”

The Cell C board says it will now initiate a process to appoint a permanent CEO.

Joe Mthimunye, chairman of the Cell C Board, comments: “We thank Douglas for his valued contribution and for successfully assisting in navigating Cell C through the recapitalisation process.

“Through the implementation of Cell C’s new strategy, he has directed the company, in conjunction with his management team, to improved financial stability, enhanced operational performance and established a path to sustainability. We wish Douglas well in his future endeavours.”

Craigie Stevenson was appointed Cell CEO in 2019 and has been credited for managing the telco during turbulent times as it sought recapitalisation.

The long-awaited Cell C recapitalisation was closed in September, after its lenders accepted an offer of 20c for every R1 of debt.

Prior to the recapitalisation, Craigie Stevenson Cell C implemented a turnaround strategy which included ensuring operational efficiencies, restructuring the balance sheet, implementing a revised network strategy, and improving overall liquidity.

Under his watch, Cell C’s total subscriber base grew and the telco now has close to 13.0 million customers.

Craigie Stevenson is an accomplished telecommunications executive with more than 20 years of experience, having served in various senior positions across Africa, including SA, Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.

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