ZOL Zimbabwe, the Liquid Telecom owned ISP which is one of the largest locally, has just announced the coming in of a new CEO, Denny Marandure. Marandure will take the place of outgoing CEO and founder of the internet company, David Behr, who, we were told by the company will now become chairman of ZOL. The company also said Behr will take on a new regional role with the Liquid Telecom Group.
Before this new appointment, Marandure was Chief Operating Officer at NettCash, the payments company increasingly visible for its new mobile payments product. His role, we’re told, was directly linked to strategy and implementation of this mobile payments project. Before Nettcash Marandure was in the US where he was a senior executive at Verizon, the giant American broadband and telecomms company. His experience at Verizon, where he spent 12 years, looks to be the main driver of the ZOL appointment. Marandure also worked for IBM USA, IBM Europe Middle East & Africa, Lucent Technologies and PriceWaterhouse in various senior roles.
On the new appointment, Marandure told us the company and brand are strong and that strategic changes he will need to make are just “tweaks and enhancements”. He also acknowledged that ZOL’s parent company, Liquid Telecom Group, brings great potential through the vast fiber infrastructure and access to global capital markets – something he said is “really exciting” for him. That would be exciting indeed for anyone in his position seeing how strapped of liquidity the local economy, and therefore competition, are.
Marandure’s move back to Zimbabwe and his taking on of a new role in the business ecosystem at this point in the country’s time is interesting as some (many I think, but I don’t have data) professionals are actually doing the opposite. 2009 saw a number of professionals moving back to Zimbabwe from the diaspora, but after staying just a couple of years, a new wave of brain drain is hitting the country as they are packing their bags again for healthier economies. Those that never left in the first inflation madness of the last decade are also considering.
“Having spent the last 12 years working for largest telecommunications company in the world, Verizon, hopefully I can bring that outside perspective and bring some new ideas to reshape the future of ZOL Zimbabwe,” Marandure said of his return.
ZOL, rebranded several months ago and changed names from ZOL (an acronym for Zimbabwe Online) to just ZOL Zimbabwe. The hint is that there may be other ZOLs to emerge in the region. The company wouldn’t however say if this is the plan.
Do you see this new appointment as a game changer? How much of an asset to you view Marandure, based on his vast portfolio?