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Top 8 South African tech billionaires

Technology

Top 8 South African tech billionaires

When the Sunday Times published its annual Rich List for 2016 at the end of last year, it included several billionaire tech executives based on their public investments.

BusinessTech provides an update on the Sunday Times list, using the latest shareholdings of the top executives in the industry against the current share price of that particular company.

Unsurprisingly, the list is littered with Naspers executives who have cashed in on the company’s growth which is largely as a result of it’s share in Chinese Internet and media firm, Tencent, which has enabled Naspers to work up a tidy market cap of R1.1 trillion.

Koos Bekker sits atop the list when it comes to wealth in tech, despite having stepped down as CEO of internet giant Naspers, several years ago.

Bekker is seen as having transformed Naspers into a digital media powerhouse, primarily due to his 2001 bet on Tencent.

During his tenure as CEO, which began in 1997, Bekker oversaw a rise in the market capitalization of Naspers from about $600 million to $45 billion, while drawing no salary, bonus, or benefits, Forbes noted.

He was compensated via stock option grants that vested over time. Bekker, who retired as the CEO of Naspers in March 2014, returned as chairman in April 2015.

Forbes said that over the summer of 2015 he sold more than 70% of his Naspers shares, with his total fortune put at $2.2 billion (R30 billion).

Also on the list are brothers Mark Levy and Brett Levy, who have been busy at Blue Label Telecoms in 2017 as they look to tie up an acquisition deal and recapitalisation of mobile operator, Cell C.

Also featuring on the list is founder and CEO of tracking firm, Cartrack, Zak Calisto.

One of the darlings of the JSE for a number of years, IT service management company, EOH has endured a shaky 2017 so far including the resignation of its long serving chief executive, Asher Bohbot, and a probe from the Competition Tribunal.

Shares in EOH are down from R163 at the end of December, to R124, which has meant a big dent in the wealth of Bohbot, and non executive director and largest shareholder, Danny MacKay.

ExecutiveCompanyShare holdingShare priceWealthSalary
Koos BekkerNaspers4 688 691R2 540.00R11.909 billion$500,000
Zak CalistoCartrack203 980 424R13.05R2.662 billionR3.133 million
Stephen PacakNaspers899 058R2 540.00R2.284 billion$493,000
Brett LevyBlue Label84 155 942R14.81R1.246 billionR16.803 million
Cobus StofbergNaspers451 719R2 540.00R1.147 billion$234,000
Mark LevyBlue Label76 748 533R14.81R1.137 billionR16.803 million
Danny MacKayEOH7 225 116R124.80R902 millionR146,000
Asher BohbotEOH6 894 625R124.80R860 millionR5.453 million

Source: Latest available annual reports, 2017/2017 | Share prices from Bloomberg, 5 July 2017

Bekker’s shareholding represented above is as recorded in Naspers’ 2016 annual report. Naspers recently announced its full year results for the 2017 financial year, with the latest integrated report expected in the coming months.

Asuquo Eton founded talkmediaafrica.com, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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