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The man who is taking over the reins at Vodacom was already being touted by industry analysts as the logical choice to succeed Alan Knott-Craig.
Vodacom announced on Friday that Pieter Uys would take over as the mobile service provider's chief executive from October 1. Uys will fill one of the most sought-after executive positions in the country, which became vacant when Knott-Craig announced his retirement in June.
Uys, a veteran of the group, is currently its chief operating officer.
He joined Vodacom in 1993 and was a founder member of the group's initial engineering management team.
He transferred to the Radio Systems and Planning division in 1995 where he played a major role in the first phase of the planning and roll-out of Vodacom's GSM network, which at the time was the fastest roll-out in the world.
Uys was then responsible for the successful launch of the Vodacom Internet Company, which quickly became a leading Internet service provider.
After several senior executive roles including the general manager of operations - responsible for Vodacom's South African operations, and managing director of Vodacom SA, Uys was appointed chief operating officer of the Vodacom Group in April 2004 and chairman of Vodacom SA in 2005.
"It has been a privilege for me to be involved in Vodacom's growth from the early days of mobile telephony to becoming South Africa's largest mobile communications operator," Uys said in reaction to his appointment. "Under Alan's leadership, the company has achieved formid-able growth and his act will be hard to follow.
"Vodacom has always been a leader in product and service innovation and we will retain that focus as we continue to implement our expansion plans."
Oyama Mabandla, chairman of Vodacom Group, said: "Alan recently announced his intention to retire by the end of September. The board has conducted a thorough search encompassing internal and external candidates as we were determined to find the right candidate for the job.
"Pieter was an obvious choice. His years of experience and track record of success at Vodacom speaks volumes and his appointment ensures continuity and a smooth handover."
Uys holds both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Stellenbosch Business School. - Staff Reporter and I-Net Bridge