Blue Label co-founders quit Cell C board

Troubled cellphone operator Cell C announced sweeping board changes on Thursday afternoon, including the appointment of a new chair, Joe Mthimunye, as outgoing chair Kuben Pillay's two-year term comes to an end.

Blue Label co-founders Brett Levy and Mark Levy will also be replaced by former Merchant Bank executive Gary Harlow and Palama co-founder Jerry Vilakazi, while former MTN chief Paul Edwards will replace Herman Kotze on behalf of Net1. Blue Label owns a 45% of Cell C. 

Brett Levy and Mark Levy are stepping down to focus on Blue Label, Cell C said. 

Pillay is expected to stay on until Mthimunye's starts on November 20, together with other directors. 

The members of the board are:

  • Joe Mthimunye, Non-Executive Chairman
  • Douglas Craigie Stevenson, CEO
  • Zaf Mahomed, CFO
  • Lindiwe Mthimunye, Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Alex Smith, Non-Executive Director
  • Gary Harlow, Non-Executive Director 
  • Jerry Vilakazi, Non-Executive Director
  • Larry Nestadt, Deputy Chairman, Non-Executive Director
  • Paul Edwards, Non-Executive Director

Cell C has put core parts of the business up for sale as it struggles with R9bn of debt and deepening losses, Bloomberg reported. According to Bloomberg, Cell C was in talks to sell access to some of its wireless frequencies to MTN. 

The major shareholders of the country's third largest mobile operator have cut the fair value of the company to zero.