Hamilton Ratshefola has been named as the new country manager at IBM South Africa. He replaces Abraham Thomas, who has been in the role for the past three years.

Ratshefola is a long-serving IBM executive and is being promoted from his current role as director of general business in the South African operation.

As country manager, Ratshefola will be responsible for all of IBM’s sales, marketing, services and global delivery operations in South Africa. He returned to IBM in 2012 from Cornastone, an IBM business partner he founded 12 years earlier.

End of an era as AccessKenya MD Somen steps down

Mr Somen is a founding member of the IT company which briefly listed at the NSE before being bought out by a South African group.

His exit marks the end of an eventful 15 years at the helm of AccessKenya in which the family-owned business floated its shares to the public through an initial public offering (IPO) at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and later sold out to an international suitor.

“It is with great sadness that I announce to you that I will be standing down as group managing director of AccessKenya at the end of this financial year.

“This decision has been very hard to make but I feel that now is the right time for me to hand over the reins to someone new to drive the business into the future,” Mr Somen said in internal communication to AccessKenya staff.

Dimension Data, the South African group that now owns AccessKenya, has tapped Richard Hechle as the new group managing director. Mr Somen will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

Mr Hechle joins AccessKenya from Finlays Horticulture, where he has been the managing director.

AccessKenya Group was founded in 1995 by brothers David and Jonathan Somen as an information and communications technology firm targeting corporate clients in Kenya. It was then named Communications Solutions Limited.

The company changed its name to AccessKenya in 2000. In April 2007, AccessKenya went public through an IPO at the NSE, becoming Kenya’s only publicly listed ICT company. The IPO offered 80 million shares at a price of Sh10 each.

In 2007, AccessKenya Group acquired OpenView Business Systems. In February 2009, the company again acquired Satori Solutions, a mid-sized virtual ISP, to help promote the sale of the group’s new SoHo service which is focused on the small and home office market.
Source: Business Daily Africa 11 June 2015