Egon Zehnder Recruits CEO for Primedia Group

February 21, 2023 – After an intensive executive search, leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder has recruited Bongumusa Makhathini as the new CEO of Primedia Group in Johannesburg, South Africa. He takes over from Dave Roberts who now serves as chairman of Primedia Outdoor and also heads up mergers and acquisitions at Primedia Group.

“Last year I shared the Primedia Group’s Vision 2025 with our staff, our partners and our advertisers,” said Jonathan Procter, group CEO of Primedia. “I spoke of how the group’s growth strategy was based on excellence and innovation on the shoulders of exceptional talent. I am delighted to introduce Bongumusa Makhathini as the CEO of Primedia Outdoor. He brings drive, determination, and a fresh approach that is an intrinsic part of the Primedia DNA. Having Bongumusa on board gives us a distinctive advantage in the highly competitive markets in which we operate. We are confident that Bongumusa will take Primedia Outdoor to new heights in South Africa and on the continent.”

Mr. Makhathini is a seasoned executive with more than 15 years of experience in both the private and state owned enterprise sectors. He is an accomplished businessman with an aptitude for operational excellence, and a track record in socially responsible business development and transformation. Mr. Makhathini has served on the boards of British American Tobacco, South African Breweries, the Sports Trust, the Ekurhuleni World Outreach Centre Advisory Board, the SABC, Pink Drive, and SAtion. He currently serves as CEO of Empowerment Capital Investment Partners, leading the development of the company’s short- and long-term growth strategy. Before that, Mr. Makhathini was managing director at African Commercial Diplomacy.

“The Primedia Group’s business resilience, expansion, and re-invention is the work of courageous leadership, and I am honored to be joining this exemplary team,” said Mr. Makhathini. “I have watched as Primedia has elevated business excellence and innovation not only in the broadcasting sector but in the growing and highly contested outdoor media sector.”

Related: Egon Zehnder Recruits CEO for Blue Diamond Growers

“Over recent years, Primedia Outdoor has led and reinvigorated the entire industry, both in South Africa and beyond,” Mr. Makhathini said. “I have always admired the spirit of the Primedia Group – its tenacity and determination to go where others fear to tread and to make the impossible possible. Many years ago I did an interview with 702’s Bruce Whitfield and I told listeners how my uncle gave me the nickname ‘Ayilali Ikhonjiwe,’ which roughly translates as ‘Once I have set my mind on something, I go for it full force.’ The Primedia Group has this same spirit of tenacity that I do. It is a perfect fit for me.”

Primedia Outdoor is a provider of out of home media solutions within South Africa and of Africa. A Level 1 BBBEE contributor, Primedia Outdoor describes itself as the largest wholly South African-owned outdoor advertising media specialist offering national outdoor exposure throughout South Africa and high reach in key markets in the rest of Africa. The company owns over 12,000 advertising panels across South Africa, with an additional 4 000-plus panels across the rest of Africa, offering national and international outdoor exposure to its clients. Primedia Outdoor offers flexible coverage of the entire LSM/SEM spectrum, targeting cosmopolitan consumers in major urban areas through to those living in rural communities.

Egon Zehnder currently ranks as a Top 5 global executive search firm, according to Hunt Scanlon Media. With more than 500 consultants in 68 offices and 40 countries around the globe, Egon Zehnder works with public and private corporations, family-owned enterprises, and non-profit and government agencies to provide board advisory services, CEO and leadership succession planning, executive search and assessment, and leadership development solutions. Since 1964, the firm has been at the forefront of defining top leadership in the face of changing economic conditions as well as major transitions in the executive search field.

Recently Called In

Egon Zehnder has been selected by Vodafone Group to lead in its search for a new CEO. At the end of last year, Rick Read agreed with the board that he will step down as CEO. “It has been a privilege to spend over 20 years of my career at Vodafone and I am proud of what we have delivered for customers and society across Europe and Africa,” said Mr. Read. “I agreed with the board that now is the right moment to hand over to a new leader who can build on Vodafone’s strengths and capture the significant opportunities ahead.” According to Bloomberg, the search is in its infancy. Representatives for the search firm and Vodafone declined to comment.

Whoever ends up running the mobile and broadband group will face a number of challenges. Vodafone has been battling to overcome roadblocks to a complex potential merger of its British business with CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Three U.K., people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

Related: Societe Generale Turns to Egon Zehnder to Find Next CEO

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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