Changing of the guard at Altron

By Bronwen Kausch, Media strategist, Innovative Media Productions
Johannesburg, 05 Feb 2001

As part of the restructuring process embarked on by Altron last year, the JSE-listed company has split the chairman and CEO positions, both previously held by Dr Bill Venter. He will hand over the CEO reins to his son Robert Venter.

[VIDEO]Venter senior will retain the position as group chairman, concentrating on steering the company`s empowerment programme and acting as "mentor" to the new, younger management team.

"Our duties will take on an important advisory and mentoring role and will ensure an orderly transition of management, and build corporate and industry relations worldwide," says Dr Venter. "This will include top-level contact with government and our participation in providing support for the group`s growth strategies."

The group will focus on becoming "customer-centric" as well as globalising its operations.

To this end, Robert Venter says investors can expect future international acquisitions and mergers.

Younger of the two Venter brothers, Craig retains control as CEO of Altech and chairman of Autopage and UEC Multimedia.

[VIDEO]Craig Venter says he expects to see further growth of Altron`s telecommunications, multimedia and IT division.

However, he doesn`t see a much rumoured merging of Bytes Technology (formerly Usko) into the Altech fold, saying that he and Bytes chairman, David Redshaw, have agreed to keep the division lines clear between the two businesses.

However, Venter did say the structure of the two IT divisions will be examined again at a later date.

The delayed listing of Altech multimedia company UEC is still on track, and Venter says Altech is investigating all the offshore listing possibilities, including a reverse listing and acquiring an existing listed company.

Redshaw says he is confident Bytes will continue to grow and says investors can look forward to an international expansion through existing offshore holdings. He also hinted at a possible offshore listing.