MTN’s Oliver Fortuin appointed Seacom group CEO

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Oliver Fortuin has been appointed group CEO of submarine cable operator Seacom.
Oliver Fortuin has been appointed group CEO of submarine cable operator Seacom.

MTN group chief enterprise officer Oliver Fortuin has been appointed group CEO of submarine cable operator Seacom, effective from 4 January.

In a statement, Seacom says Fortuin has worked for over two decades in the ICT sector, across SA and the rest of Africa, with firms such as IBM and BT.

He takes over from Byron Clatterbuck, who has resigned and will be ending his eight-year tenure with the company. Clatterbuck joined Seacom in 2012 as its chief commercial officer, and became Seacom Group CEO in February 2015.

“I am making this decision for personal reasons, and this has been planned for some time,” says Clatterbuck, explaining why now is the right time for him to hand over.

“However, I did not want to make the final move until we had the right leader lined up to take over the leadership of Seacom, as we push further into African markets and continue our growth in the enterprise segment. I am very pleased and confident to be handing over the leadership of Seacom to Oliver Fortuin, who will be ably supported by Seacom’s executive team.”

The company launched in July 2009 as a “wholesale”-only subsea cable operator that sold linear transmission capacity on its Seacom Subsea Cable System for the first few years of its existence.

In the same year, it launched Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system along the continent’s eastern and southern coasts.

In 2015, Seacom entered the direct to corporate market in SA, followed by similar launches in Kenya in 2016 and Uganda in 2019.

While the company continues to be a significant player in the IPT and data transmission markets in the service provider segment in Africa, serving most hyper-scalers, cloud players, regional ISPs and global telcos, it says its key growth focus is to expand its value proposition into a fully-fledged fibre-led telecoms provider for enterprise and corporate segments.

Byron Clatterbuck has resigned as CEO of Seacom.
Byron Clatterbuck has resigned as CEO of Seacom.

Discussing the company’s plans for the future, Fortuin says: “The Seacom team has built an excellent data connectivity platform in the markets where we operate.

“We now hope to expand upon this, as well as to develop more industry-leading services that today’s corporate customers in Africa require. Our key focus will be to strengthen our customer base in the corporate segment by offering a wider range of services that provide greater value to our customers, and can help Seacom capture more share of wallet in this space.”

Seacom chairperson Pieter Uys says: “Mr Clatterbuck has been instrumental in shifting Seacom from a subsea cable operator to becoming Africa’s leading Internet and data transmission provider – offering services to other service providers, direct to corporates, and, more recently, into the consumer market with the WonderNet brand. The shareholders and employees of Seacom would like to thank Mr Clatterbuck for his valuable contributions over the last eight years.”

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