Wananchi Group Holdings LTD (WGH), the operators of the ZUKU pay-TV brand have announced the appointment of Mr. Richard Alden as new Group CEO of the regional media and ICT Company.
Mr. Alden who has been the Group’s Chief Operating Officer takes over from Mr. Richard Bell who now takes a new role as a Non-Executive Vice Chairman of the Board.
The Group Chairman of the Board of Directors will still be Mr. Ali Mufuruki.
Mr. Alden has 20 years of experience in the TMT industries in emerging markets in Europe and South America. From 1998 to 2009 he was the Chief Executive Officer and a founding director of ONO, the largest cable television and telecommunications operator in Spain. He was also the CFO of Groupe Videotron, Optel Inc.
Richard Bell is remembered for his role in the creation of Wananchi Group and driving its expansion to current state. In 2006, he and others founded the East Africa Capital Partners (EACP), the first Venture Capital Fund Manager focused exclusively on the African Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector. He led EACP in raising its first fund dubbed Africa Technology Media and Telecommunications (ATMT) Fund 1, LLC in 2008 and joined forces with the late James Gachui, Richard Essex and Mark Schneider to become the founding investors and promoters of Wananchi Group Holdings in the same year.
In 2009 the Zuku Brand consumer retail triple play and pay TV brand was born.
Bell oversaw Wananchi Group increase its capital base by double to nearly US$ 300m, making the group a major the dominant VSAT data provider to the corporate market through its SimbaNet brand and taking a significant market share of the carrier of carriers business through Wananchi Telecom.
Other highlights of Bell’s tenure include making the group a dominant VSAT wholesale provider to resellers across Africa through its iSat brand, growing its cable Triple Play Services in Kenya in terms of network coverage, subscriber numbers and quality of service, launching DTH Pay TV services in 3 countries in East Africa and growing the number of linear Zuku Channels by its media group from 6 to 9.