Seacom announced on Thursday it has tapped Oliver Fortuin, MTN Group Chief Enterprise Officer, as its new CEO.
Fortuin, who will replace Byron Clatterbuck, will take over the reigns on January 4, 2021.
He has worked for over two decades in the ICT sector, across South Africa and the rest of Africa, with industry-leading organisations such as IBM, BT, and, most recently, MTN.
“The Seacom team has built an excellent data connectivity platform in the markets where we operate. We now hope to expand upon this, as well as to develop more industry-leading services that today’s corporate customers in Africa require,” said Fortuin on the company’s future.
“Our key focus will be to strengthen our customer base in the corporate segment by offering a wider range of services that provide greater value to our customers, and can help Seacom capture more share of wallet in this space.”
Seacom launched in July 2009 as a “wholesale”-only subsea cable operator that sold linear transmission capacity on its Seacom Subsea Cable System for the first few years of its existence.
In 2015, Seacom entered the direct to corporate market in South Africa, followed by similar launches in Kenya in 2016 and in Uganda in 2019.
While the company continues to be a significant player in the IPT and data transmission markets in the service provider segment in Africa, serving most hyper-scalers, cloud players, regional ISPs, and global telcos, its key growth focus is to expand its value proposition into a fully-fledged fibre-led Telecoms provider for enterprise and corporate segments.
Clatterbuck explained why now is the right time for him to hand over the reins.
“I am making this decision for personal reasons, and this has been planned for some time. However, I did not want to make the final move until we had the right leader lined up to take over the leadership of Seacom as we push further into African markets and continue our growth in the enterprise segment,” he said.
“I am very pleased and confident to be handing over the leadership of Seacom to Oliver Fortuin, who will be ably supported by Seacom’s world-class executive team.”
Seacom’s Chairperson, Pieter Uys, said Clatterbuck has been instrumental in shifting Seacom from a subsea cable operator to becoming Africa’s leading Internet and data transmission provider – offering services to other service providers, direct to corporates, and, more recently, into the consumer market with the WonderNet brand.
“The shareholders and employees of Seacom would like to thank Clatterbuck for his valuable contributions over the last eight years.”