Vodacom Chief Uys to Be Replaced by Vodafone Spain’s Joos

Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD), the biggest provider of mobile-phone services in South Africa, said Chief Executive Officer Pieter Uys has resigned after four years and will be succeeded by Shameel Joosub.

Joosub, currently CEO of Vodafone Spain, will become co-CEO in September and Uys will leave Vodacom in March 2013, the Johannesburg-based company, controlled by Vodafone Group Ltd. (VOD), said today in a statement published on the Stock Exchange News Service.

Shares in Vodacom fell for the first time in five days, declining less than 0.1 percent to 95.94 rand as of 10:19 a.m. in Johannesburg.

Uys, who has worked at Vodacom since the company started in 1993, became CEO in October 2008. Joosub was managing director of Vodacom’s South African unit at that time. He was named as CEO of Vodafone’s Spanish unit in December 2010.

“Uys has done a good job transforming Vodacom into the data era,” said Khulekani Dlamini, head of research at Cape Town-based Afena Capital by phone. “Joosub understands the South African context very well. He is well placed to help the company effectively compete against its competitors, who are becoming aggressive.”

Vodacom expanded its customer base to 47.8 million as it spent 8.7 billion rand in the year through March, 37 percent more than a year earlier. It increased its revenue from data by 24 percent to 7.6 billion rand, compared to total sales of 66.9 billion rand.

As the Vodacom enters a competitive era where smaller operators Cell C (Pty) Ltd. and Telkom SA Ltd. (TKG)’s 8ta mobile arm lure customers away, the company needs a different strategy, said Dlamini, who helps manage about $2.4 billion, including Vodacom shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sikonathi Mantshantsha in Johannesburg at sikonathim@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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