New Naspers CEO has big shoes to fill

Cape Town - Bob van Dijk (41), currently Naspers' most senior e-commerce chief, is looking forward to taking over as CEO on 1 April from Koos Bekker who has transformed Naspers from an Afrikaans language publisher into a  multinational mass media company with principal operations in electronic and print media.
 
“Naspers is a great company with a culture close to my heart and I’m honoured to lead an excellent team,” Van Dijk told Fin24 on Saturday.
 
As Naspers' current CEO Global Transaction Ecommerce, Van Dijk's portfolio stretches across Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa and include Allegro, PayU, Ibibo, Buscapé, eMag, Netretail, Flipkart, Souq and Markafoni.
 
He joined Naspers on 1 August 2013 as CEO of Allegro Group, where he was responsible for Eastern Europe's leading e-commerce and payments company. Allegro's key activities include e-commerce marketplaces, online retail, online classifieds and online payments.
 
His appointment makes perfect sense against the backdrop of Naspers' aggressive push into the e-commerce arena and the groundwork already laid by Bekker over the past 39 years, and especially the last 17 years as Group CEO.
 
Under Bekker's reign Naspers' market capitalisation grew from R5.6bn in 1997 when he was appointed CEO to a whopping R530.94bn at Friday's JSE close. During this time Bekker uniquely opted to forgo a salary and be paid in Naspers shares instead.
 
After entering e-commerce at around 2008, the Group is investing heavily in an ambitious effort to become a global player in classifieds and transactional e-commerce.
 
And Van Dijk brings him with him the expertise and experience to lead Naspers further on its growth path.

Outgoing CEO Bekker described Van Dijk as the "best e-commerce man in the world".

"After the sudden death of Antonie Roux, we searched for a capable replacement world-wide.

"In our view, Bob is the best e-commerce man in the world," he told Fin24 on Saturday.

Acknowledging Van Dijk's achievements, Bekker said he managed the German eBay, the largest eBay platform in Europe and the largest part of the eBay internet auction business outside the US. After that he went to Schibsted's Classified.

Ton Vosloo, Naspers chair said “in view of our strong development focus on e-commerce, the board believes that Bob has the skills to lead us into the next phase of our growth”.

Van Dijk's CV reads like a match made in heaven: He holds an MSc Econometrics from Erasmus University Rotterdam (cum laude), plus an MBA from Insead in France (Dean’s List).
 
Before joining Naspers he served as general manager of eBay's activities in Germany.
 
eBay is the world’s leading e-commerce company with annual trade volumes of over $100bn. In addition, eBay owns the global leader in online payment solutions, PayPal and eBay’s Classifieds Group is one of the largest online classifieds players in the world.
 
Van Dijk played a key role in expanding eBay’s local classifieds and online motor sales platform businesses as Vice President of Local Classifieds and Motors.
 
Prior to that he was responsible for all eBay Group activities in the Netherlands as a Managing Director of eBay Netherlands and Marktplaats.nl.
 
In addition to his e-commerce experience at  eBay he was COO of Schibsted’s global Classifieds business.
 
Schibsted is a leading global media group with Scandinavian roots, 8 500 employees and operations in 22 countries and its main activities are online classifieds and news.
 
Van Dijk has more than 15 years experience in the internet and technology sectors and has been active in the field of e-commerce for 11 years.
 
He began his career as an Associate at McKinsey.
 
Van Dijk will live in the Netherlands with his wife Tina, a senior finance executive, and two young daughters. He is a keen sportsman and speaks five languages.
 
Bekker, who will take over as chairperson in April next year when Ton Vosloo retires, intends to travel widely and research where the group’s next spurt of growth may come from, once ecommerce has reached maturity.

- Fin24

* Fin24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers.

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