Pieter Uys a big loss to the SA telecoms

Cell C CEO, Alan Knott-Craig says that Pieter Uys is the best engineer he has ever met, adding that, unless Uys goes back into telecoms, it will be a big loss to South Africa.

Former Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys recently announced that he will join investment holding company Remgro in April 2013, the day after his contract with Vodacom expires.

Uys stepped down as Vodacom CEO in August 2012, but will remain at Vodacom until March 2013 to ensure a smooth handover to new CEO Shameel Joosub.

Uys told BusinessTech that he has been in telecoms for his whole professional career, and that it was time for a new challenge. Uys said further that it is an end of an era for him, and that it is unlikely that he will take a position as a telecoms executive again.

A big loss to SA telecoms

Uys joined Vodacom with Alan Knott-Craig in 1993, after joining Knott-Craig’s data communications team at Telkom in the eighties.

With a professional relationship stretching over 20 years, Knott-Craig is well-positioned to comment on Uys’ career and his future in the telecommunications space.

Knott-Craig said that Uys is the best engineer he has ever met, highlighting Uys’ ability to come up with solutions in record time and building innovative products which change the market.

It is this ability which convinced Knott-Craig to employ Uys in his department at Telkom, and also for making sure that Uys joined him when he started Vodacom.

Uys quickly moved through the ranks at Vodacom, and was Knott-Craig’s right-hand man for a large part of his (Knott-Craig’s) tenure as CEO.

Very few industry players will disagree that Knott-Craig and Uys made an excellent team as CEO and COO, and Knott-Craig himself considers it the best team ever in South African telecoms.

There was some speculation that Uys may join Knott-Craig at Cell C after his two year restraint of trade expires, but Uys said that it will not happen.

Knott-Craig, in turn, said that he would love to work with Uys again, adding that “if Pieter does not work in the telecommunications space again, it will be a massive loss to South Africa”.

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Pieter Uys a big loss to the SA telecoms