Cell C appoints El Kope as permanent CFO

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 05 Mar 2024
Cell C CFO El Kope.
Cell C CFO El Kope.

Mobile operator Cell C has appointed El Kope as its chief financial officer on a permanent basis.

Kope has been acting CFO since August last year, following the resignation of Lerato Pule, who has joined Liquid Intelligent Technologies in a similar role.

“Cell C is excited to announce the appointment of El Kope as its chief financial officer and executive director for finance,” the company announced today.

In a statement, it says this strategic move reinforces Cell C’s commitment to excellence and financial leadership, harvesting from its internal top talent pool.

Kope’s appointment comes as Cell C CEO Jorge Mendes is overhauling his executive team after the company’s financial difficulties during the past years.

Mendes, who was appointed in June last year, has been tapping his former employer Vodacom for new executives to inject new blood at the telco. The company has also been making key internal appointments.

In January, Cell C named Darius Badenhorst as chief growth officer after a decade of service across multiple roles within Vodacom’s commercial and finance teams.

In August last year, Cell C appointed another Vodacom veteran, Melanie Forbes, as chief marketing officer. Forbes had spent over 15 years with Vodacom, where she held key executive positions.

Mendes recently told ITWeb that the company is looking to fill the exco positions of chief of data and analytics, as well as chief of regions sales and distribution.

Kope’s appointment comes at a crucial time, as Cell C is looking to stabilise its cash-strapped business.

In its latest results, Cell C’s revenue declined 6.7% from R6.3 billion to R5.9 billion.

Kope also joins as the company’s largest shareholder Blue Label Telecoms is looking to acquire a controlling stake in the mobile operator.

The fintech group has a non-controlling 49.5% stake in Cell C, and is looking to get an additional 4.04% stake via The Prepaid Company.

Cell C says Kope, a highly-accomplished chartered accountant and visionary finance executive, joined Cell C in September 2022 as executive head for financial planning and analysis.

It adds that her exceptional performance and unwavering dedication led her to step up as acting CFO following the departure of the previous CFO in August 2023.

According to Cell C, Kope has a proven track record and brings a wealth of experience from her tenure at multinational corporations such as DHL, Coca-Cola Africa and SA Breweries. Notably, Cell C notes, she played a pivotal role in driving Tsebo International’s $150 million turnover in her tenure.

The company states her swift actions as acting CFO significantly improved governance, stabilised the finance department and strengthened relationships with critical stakeholders, placing Cell C in a more favourable position.

Says Mendes: “El has demonstrated exceptional leadership, strategic financial and business acumen, and I cannot be more pleased about her well-deserved appointment. I look forward to her ongoing contribution as we drive our growth and reposition Cell C for long-term sustainability.”

Under Kope’s leadership, Cell C says it achieved several milestones, materially improving governance structures and instituting the correct methodologies, resulting in revenue enhancement.

Kope says: “It is truly an honour to lead financial excellence at Cell C as we embark on this exciting growth journey and I am humbled by the confidence the Cell C management and board have placed in me. I am looking forward to being part of our collective success.”