SuperSport’s Happy Ntshingila steps down

2013-10-16 14:35

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SuperSport chief executive Happy Ntshingila has decided to step down for health reasons.

Responding to City Press today, spokesperson Jackie Rakitla said Ntshingila had been ill for a few months.

Ntshingila said: “While recuperating, I decided in the interests of my long term health to not return to my position as CEO of SuperSport.”

Ntshingila was appointed CEO on April 1 2012 after a lengthy search to replace Imtiaz Patel, who was promoted from the SuperSport CEO position to the MultiChoice CEO position in October 2010.

Ntshingila’s decision to step down comes at a time when SuperSport is facing the prospect of greater regulation, which could fundamentally change its business model if successful.

Not only has rival pay-TV operator TopTV lodged a complaint with the competition commission over SuperSport’s refusal to license sports content to it, but Minister of Communication Yunus Carrim has announced that a draft policy document on regulating premium content and sports rights in the broadcasting sector would be ready by the end of the year.

“While the MultiChoice Group supports his decision to step down, the company did not want to lose his skills and expertise,” said Rakitla.

“Happy agreed to stay on in an advisory role to the MultiChoice Group CEO, assisting in marketing and other strategic initiatives.”

Patel said: “On behalf of the MultiChoice Group, I wish to thank Happy for his contribution as CEO of SuperSport and wish him continued health and success.”

Rakitla said an announcement would be made in due course when a replacement is appointed.

“Until then, Brandon Foot, currently head of acquisitions and legal, will be acting CEO of SuperSport,” said Rakitla.

Before being appointed to the position of SuperSport CEO, Ntshingila was the executive director of marketing and communication for Absa Bank.

He had previously held other senior positions at Absa, but is most known for co-founding HerdBuoys, the first black-owned and managed advertising agency in South Africa.

In December 2005, HerdBuoys McCann-Erickson was a R400 million ad agency, ranking among the top 10 in the industry.

HerdBuoys made ads for SAB, Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Motorola, Vodacom, General Motors and Telkom, among others.

HerdBuoys is also credited with having changed the colours of SAA from the old springbok tail to the current flag, and for designing the ballot paper for South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Ntshingila wrote a book about starting HerdBuoys called Black Jerusalem.

In 2012, Ntshingila was appointed deputy chair of Brand SA by President Jacob Zuma.

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