Vox chief steps down

2011-02-18 11:29

Johannesburg - CEO of listed telecommunications group Vox Telecom [JSE:VOX] Tony van Marken has announced that he will be leaving the company.
Van Marken told Fin24 on Friday that he has to put family first and will be taking time off to spend with his children.

"It's been five years of commuting (between Cape Town and Johannesburg)," he said.

"Vox has been an amazing experience - but it's been helluva hard on my personal and family life. My kids are 15 and 12 and I need to put them first," he said.

Van Marken said he believes it is a good time for him to be making the announcement in terms of Vox's fiscal cycles.

"I told our shareholders that they need a CEO who is here when he needs to be and I can't make that commitment any more. I have to be fair to the company and its employees too," he said.

"It was a difficult decision."

Before Vox, Van Marken worked with listed companies in North America where he also had to commute, even travelling between France and Canada for a period.

He added that he has no business plans for the future and will focus on a sabbatical with his family before deciding what to tackle next.

"We'll see what comes next. I like living in the Cape. It's where my family is happy and so in the future I'll try to organise things around there," he said.

"I've been presented with opportunities, but I'm not going to jump into anything straight away," said Van Marken.

Vox Telecoms is currently under cautionary as its board negotiates sensitive transactions. It has renewed its cautionary status for the last four months. Van Marken insists that this situation has nothing to do with him leaving.

"The people who know me understand where I'm coming from," he said.

He added that Vox is in a strong position, having avoided financial crises and layoffs, among other challenges that plague some of its competitors.

"We've managed to avoid that," he said. "Yes, we took big goodwill write-off last year, but it put our balance sheet in a good position."

Vox founder and managing director Doug Reed will assume the role of CEO when Van Marken leaves at the end of March.