Telkom has announced the appointment of seasoned IT veteran LenDe Villiers as chief information officer (CIO) effective as of 1 November 2013.
Group CEO, Sipho Maseko, welcomed the appointment in recognition of the company’s determined efforts to build a team that will drive the turnaround of Telkom.
This appointment is in line with Telkom’s newly designed leadership structure which sees the introduction of a chief operating officer, Dr Brian Armstrong; head of strategy, Dr Miriam Altman; and the newly appointed CIO, Len De Villiers. Additionally the positions of chief marketing officer and chief procurement officer have been introduced but are still to be appointed.
“The process of building a winning team is gaining momentum and I am confident that we will soon have a capable and dedicated team in place to lead Telkom’s turnaround, put us on firm footing to compete effectively in a demanding marketplace and reach our ultimate objective which is to restore our leadership position in the telecommunications sector,” he adds.
Noting that the IT factory is a critical enabler of Telkom’s mid- and long term strategic plans, Maseko says, “As we continue to move forward with Telkom’s transformation to improve our operational efficiencies, maximise the returns made possible by the evolution of our network and pursue the convergence agenda, we rely heavily on IT architecture and systems that are of a world class standard.
“At the same time we have to strengthen our focus on innovation and research and development.”
De Villiers has 25 years’ experience in the IT industry and is considered to be one of the top CIO’s in South Africa. In 2009, he was voted “the most admired CIO in South Africa” by the CIO Council of South Africa (consisting of the top 200 CIO’s in the country).
He began his career in 1978 in IT management positions at BP, Metro Cash and Carry and Gencor. He joined First National Bank as GM of IT in 1986, followed by three years as MD of Microdata and as an executive director at Datakor Holdings.
De Villiers was appointed MD of Nedbank’s Group Operations in 2003 and as MD of Nedbank’s Group Technology and Support Services in 2004. During the 15 years he spent with Nedbank he won several top achiever awards.
De Villiers joined Absa Bank as Group CIO in 2008 where he was responsible for articulating the technology plans and initiatives necessary to create and support the underlying technology required for their “One Absa”
De Villiers then joined Transaction Capital in January 2012 as Group CIO.
He was educated at RAU, Wits, Insead (France) and Harvard (USA).