Cell C appoints interim CEO after Craigie Stevenson quits

Cell C appoints interim CEO after Craigie Stevenson quits

Douglas Craigie Stevenson.jpg

South African operator Cell C is looking for a new CEO following the resignation of Douglas Craigie Stevenson.

The company’s main shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, has appointed an interim CEO, Brett Copans, who has been chief restructuring officer.

Craigie Stevenson (pictured) will leave in a week’s time, on 31 March, Blue Label said in a statement to shareholders. “The board of Cell C will initiate a process to appoint a permanent CEO,” it added.

Only last month Blue Label said it wants to increase its stake in Cell C from 49.5%, but not yet. Brett Levy, founder and co-CEO of Blue Label, said then that the company will make a firm decision before 31 May, the end of its financial year.

Blue Label said Craigie Stevenson was leaving “for personal reasons and to pursue other opportunities in line with his personal career goals”. He has had a stormy session in charge of the company, warning in a letter to staff in July 2019 – only months after being appointed – that “Cell C has a zero-tolerance policy towards illegal or unethical activity and have encouraged employees to use the independent whistle-blowers service to anonymously report irregularities or illegal activities”.

He then let it through a recapitalisation in September 2022, which saw Blue Label increase its stake from 40% to 49.5%.

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

Mthimunye said: “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.”

Interim CEO Copans comes from a financial background, having worked in Investec for 17 years until early 2020.

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