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Altron’s group CIO to head Karabina unit

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Collin Govender, current group CIO, will take over as MD of subsidiary Altron Karabina.
Collin Govender, current group CIO, will take over as MD of subsidiary Altron Karabina.

JSE-listed technology company Altron has announced that Collin Govender, current group chief information officer (CIO), will take over as managing director of subsidiary Altron Karabina after the departure of Grant van der Wal on 31 December.

Debra-Lynn Marais, Altron’s shared services executive, will succeed Govender as group CIO.

The leadership changes come after Altron, in its integrated report in June, said it was “disappointed” with the performance of its subsidiary Altron Karabina during the past financial year.

Altron acquired Karabina, now Altron Karabina, from iSPartners in 2018 in a deal worth R225 million.

The company hoped the strategic acquisition would enable Altron to create a Microsoft-focused business within the group with a special focus on cloud computing and data analytics.

It also expected the acquisition to add scale and a new suite of solutions and capabilities, enabling customers to digitally transform their businesses through Microsoft technologies.

Altron Karabina’s opportunity came last year after it signed a software licensing partnership with Microsoft, replacing EOH.

Entrepreneur Van der Wal founded Karabina 20 years ago and grew the company into an asset which was acquired by Altron in 2018.

“After much personal deliberation, I made a decision to enter a new season of my life, starting by taking some time out with my family and loved ones,” Van der Wal says.

Mteto Nyati, Altron Group chief executive, thanked Van der Wal for his hard work in the past two years, along with his leadership team, in integrating Altron Karabina into the Altron Group.

Govender joined the company in 2017 from T-Systems, as group executive for Shared Services, and was appointed CIO last year. He will assume the role of managing director of Altron Karabina from 1 January 2021.

“Under Collin’s leadership, we digitally transformed Altron through standardisation of our ERP [enterprise resource planning], CRM [customer relationship management] and HR [human resources] systems. We were ready for the new world of work brought forward by COVID-19. His mission now is to accelerate the growth of Altron Karabina by leveraging Microsoft’s three cloud strategy and licence solution provider contract,” says Nyati.

“In line with Altron’s commitment to developing a strong pipeline of talent with gender diversity, and promoting from within, we are pleased to see Debra-Lynn bringing her more than 20 years’ experience in information technology, of which 14 have been at Altron, to bear in this new role.”

Marais says she is “looking forward to executing Altron’s information technology strategy and also working with managing directors of our nine operating companies”.

Van der Wal and Govender will work together for the remainder of the year to ensure a successful transition in the next phase of Altron Karabina.

Commenting on his appointment, Govender says he will focus on further entrenching Microsoft as a core partner of Altron and using its technology solutions to drive customer success.

“This is a time to be pragmatic – to be impactful and deliver value. COVID-19 and the ‘new normal’ has meant finding different ways of helping the customer solve their challenges and breaking the traditional mould of thinking. I believe as Altron Karabina we are positioned to make a meaningful impact.”

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