Brandon Leigh. Rain. SUPPLIED
Brandon Leigh. Rain. SUPPLIED

Data only mobile operator, Rain, has appointed Brandon Leigh, one of its founders, as CEO from March 2021.

Rain said on Tuesday that CEO Willem Roos would move to a nonexecutive role from March 1 2021. Leigh, the operator’s chief strategy officer, will then assume the head role when the time comes.

The company said this was in line with its planned succession process.

“When Willem joined, we agreed to a three-year tenure, and so it is natural that Brandon, as an founder, resumes the CEO role. Brandon has been the visionary behind Rain and the ideal person to continue growing the business,” said chair Paul Harris.

Harris said the six month handover would ensure “a smooth transition”. 

Leigh, an electrical engineer, having attended the University of Cape Town, previously founded Leaf Wireless, a distributor of mobile and wireless products.

Rain is credited with being the first mobile operator in SA to introduce 5G, with its launch of fixed-wireless products in September 2019.

The company, owned partly by Harris and businessman Michael Jordaan,  has Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (ARC) as a shareholder. ARC also has shares in internet infrastructure company MetroFibre.

The ARC Fund’s investment in Rain increased to R3.1bn at the end of June, from R2.5bn previously, mainly as a result of a fair value write-up of R479m. Rain constitutes 27.9% of the fund’s value, and is its single-biggest investment.

ARC Fund owns a fifth of Rain, valuing the mobile operator at about R15.5bn.

Rain had a surge in subscriber numbers during the lockdown with people required to work from home, the group said.

gavazam@businesslive.co.za

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