New Cell C CEO 'ready for action'

2012-01-20 09:23

Cape Town – New Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig has said that his first priority is to build a "world class network".

"The number one priority is I have to make sure that we can build a world class quality network with a footprint which is competitive or better than the other network operators. We cannot build a company without a proper network," the former Vodacom boss told News24.

Cell C is regarded as a junior in the South African mobile market and its third position behind Vodacom and MTN is under pressure from Telkom new-comer 8ta.

Knott-Craig said that it will take some time to build a network.

"It's going to take 12 months, maybe 18 months. We can do other things in parallel, but that has to be a top priority."


He officially takes over in April and said that this was due to his cooling off period after his stint at Vodacom.

"I had a restraint which was three and a half years which only comes to an end at the end of March this year. I think three and a half is enough time, number one and I think Vodacom has changed a little bit in three and a half years," he said.

Knott-Craig rejected suggestions that he had been out of the industry too long to be able to make a contribution to the operator, but recognised that he had a fixed-term contract.

"We're going to find out - I think so. I've always liked the company Cell C. I like the shareholders which is important.

"It's a three-year contract so this not like a lifetime job. I'm very keen on it and absolutely determined to make sure the company is a lot more competitive when I leave and in really good shape - a force to be reckoned with in South Africa," he said.

Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys congratulated Knott-Craig on his appointment.

"Congratulations to Alan. Competition is always good. Looking forward to working with all in telecoms industry to shape future," Uys wrote on Twitter.

And Knott-Craig appeared to be ready to face the challenge.

"Pieter is very good and Vodacom is a great company - so is MTN. But these are two formidable companies and formidable CEOs - that just makes it more exciting, I guess," he said.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter


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