Tencent investors Naspers and Prosus announce abrupt departure of CEO

Tencent investors Naspers and Prosus announce abrupt departure of CEO

Bob van Dijk

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The immediate and mutually agreed departure of Naspers and Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk underscores a complicated few years for a firm seen riding on the coattails of its holdings in Chinese tech giant, Tencent.

In June, the Dutch-based e-commerce investor, Prosus, which is majority-owned by South African multi-national Naspers won shareholder and regulatory approval to unwind its complex ownership structure.

The South African Reserve Bank gave Naspers the greenlight to begin buying back more of its shares from Prosus.

‘Getting rid’ of the cross holding

Stepping up

On Monday the business also announced, on a call with investors, that the unwinding of the crossholding had officially been completed with the business now aiming to maintain profitability going into the first half of the 2025 fiscal year.

Erwin Tu, Prosus’ group chief investment officer has been named interim CEO, with Citi saying in a research note that it sees “a good chance of him becoming permanent CEO.

“We suspect the decision has not been sudden, but rather one the company preferred to announce following the completion of the unwind of the cross-holding process,” the Citi analysts said.

Tu was previously a managing partner at the SoftBank Vision Fund where he also co-led M&A and corporate finance for SoftBank Group International. He was also managing director in the technology banking group at Goldman Sachs.

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