No change seen for Cell C strategy
Cape Town - Lars Reichelt, Cell C’s chief executive, has left the company for “personal reasons”.
Under Reichelt’s leadership the company changed its image and brand, rolled out its successful mobile broadband network and became much more visible in the industry.
Led by Reichelt the company had also considerably reduced the price of mobile broadband.
“This is a real pity,” said Irnest Kaplan, the head of Kaplan Equity Analysts.
Kaplan was surprised by the resignation. He had regarded Reichelt as a very dynamic person and much of what the company had achieved under him had also been good for the consumer as well.
Cell C chairperson Simon Duffy will act as interim chief executive while the company seeks a successor. Duffy reckoned that the search would take from three to six months.
Reichelt will still be available to Cell C in an advisory capacity.
Duffy said Reichelt’s resignation had not been a sudden decision. A couple of months ago Reichelt had approached the board of directors, stating that for personal reasons he would not renew his three-year contract.
The board respected Reichelt’s decision and both parties had agreed that it should be effected as quickly as possible.
Duffy also emphasised that Reichelt’s strategy would not soon be tampered with and that the company would continue to invest significantly in mobile broadband.
Three years ago, he said, the company had not had a consistent strategy. It would now continue to support Reichelt’s strategy with billions in investment.
According to Reichelt, Cell C had made “enormous progress” over the past year. He said he was proud to have led the process, and confident that the company was well positioned to grow further.
Reichelt’s family is in Switzerland. During his period as head of Cell C he often travelled between the two countries.
Duffy was unable to say whether Reichelt would return to Switzerland or whether he would be otherwise involved in South Africa.
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Cell C does not want to grow business. I went there to migrate by existing phone from another service provider. I use approx R1200 per month on contract. I have been with present service provider for more than 12 years. Cell C told me that I must take out a pay-as-you-go and 6 months then I could get a contract. I then sent an enquiry to Cell C head office over 10 days ago. Guess what - no response. That is Cell C finished in my book, they dont want my business.