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Work History

Various General Management positions

M-Tel / MTN

Before the GSM industry Service Provider business started in South Africa, conducted a feasibility study to establish the viability of the business. . When the company was started at the beginning of 1994 took on the role of IT manager, later moving on to a business development role. When MTN took over M-Tel in 2005, spent 9 months as deputy MD assisting with integration into the new company, then moved to MTN as GM of Regional Operations where Responsibilities included establishing new branches, upgrading existing service centres and ensuring that operational systems and procedures were followed.

Jan 2007Present

Independant Telecoms Specialist

Self employed

Providing consultancy services within the Telecoms industry.

Feb 2002Dec 2006

CEO

MTN publiCom

Appointed to the position in 2002 the brief was to turn the company around from imminent bankruptcy. This was achieved in three years at which time the business became profitable and was able to start re-paying its loans. Initially staff morale was extremely low and was improved by adopting a more hands on, firm and caring management approach. By 2006 it was clear that the business would be able to add more value to the majority shareholder if it was wholly owned by them. Succeeded in getting them to buy out the other shareholders and to merge the companies, without any staff losing their jobs.

A payphone operator, MTN publiCom was started by MTN Uganda to fulfil a license obligation to install public payphones throughout Uganda. This requirement has been met and exceeded without causing large financial losses normally associated with ventures of this nature.

Aug 1999Dec 2001

Operations Advisor

MTN Uganda

Advised the CEO and assisted executive committee members with a number of key strategic projects relating to improving business processes and Customer Service. These included acquisition of a new Customer Care and Billing system and a business process management project.

MTN Uganda, owned by the MTN Group of South Africa was launched in Uganda in 1998. It now has over 2 million subscribers.

19981999

Founding CEO

MTN rwandaCell

Appointed to this position in mid 1998, led the implementation team and launched the network within the set deadlines. One of the main tasks during this time was to establish relationships with local partners and to create operating systems in a completely new and different environment.

The company is part owned by the MTN Group who is a minority shareholder and had the management contract. By the end of the first year some 45 local staff had been employed and trained.

Education

1970Present

Matriculated

Lyttleton Manor High

Skills

Decision making
Always willing to make carefully considered decisions and to take responsibility for them.
Website development
Developed the web site www.weebitings.com for a catering business in Kampala.
Operations management
More than 25 years in operations management, including call centres, customer care, distribution, marketing and IT.
Startup management
Have been either part of the team or team leader of a number of startup television and telecommunications companies.
People management
Firm and fair to staff and able to get high performance levels from staff.
Executive management
Acted in a number of executive positions in the GSM and fixed line telecommunications industry.

Websites and links

Profile

A highly experienced international executive with strong decision making, people and leadership skills, supported by the ability to assemble strong teams who are able to deliver and to succeed in very challenging environments. Particularly strong in start-up Telecoms operations in developing markets as well as turning around ailing Telecommunications related companies and with a deep understanding of the many process and systems challenges faced by operators.

Recommendations

“As a member of the board of directors MTN publiCom (U) Ltd. I worked with Francois from the time he was hired as CEO in February 2002 until December 2006. Francois joined the company at a very difficult time, and succeeded in creating trust in the management of the company, its budgets and processes within a relatively short time span. He understood how to balance the priorities of a highly diverse board of directors and turn them into useful operational plans, which would support the company's growth, in a way that involved and respected the general staff. Francois scores high marks as a people manager, accomplisher and diplomat during his time with MTN publiCom.”

July 8, 2008 Henrik Beck-Bang, Director, MTN publiCom, managed Francois indirectly at MTN publiCom

“Francois du Plessis is an all-round type of manager. During the 5 years we worked together he proved to have great experience and understanding of everything from Marketing, IT, Finance and HR issues to general people management and interacting with the Board of Directors. Furthermore, he has in-depth knowledge about the Eastern and Southern African cultures and business environments.”

June 16, 2008 Thomas Leth Madsen, Head of Operations, MTN publiCom Uganda, reported to Francois at MTN publiCom

Objective

Consulting assignments in existing, start-up or acquired Telecommunications or related Companies, either assisting management to improve processes, putting together a dynamic team capable of delivering world class service within the launch deadline, within budget and generating positive cash flow as quickly as possible, or ensuring those new investors interests are protected and returns are maximised.