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Highest-paid CEO suddenly resigns from Prosus and Naspers

Dutch businessman Bob van Dijk offered his immediate resignation from his position as the CEO of Amsterdam publicly-traded tech investment firm Prosus, and its South African parent company, Naspers. No reason for his departure was given on Monday.

Van Dijk was the highest-paid CEO in the Netherlands last year, according to Volkskrant. His total compensation amounted to 57.5 million euros. Van Dijk also resigned from the boards of both companies. He will remain as an advisor to the companies until the end of September 2024.

Since 2014, Van Dijk has been the CEO of Naspers, Africa’s largest media conglomerate. The company is based in Cape Town. Since its IPO in 2019, he has also been the CEO of Prosus, which has a significant interest in the Chinese tech, media and gaming company, Tencent.

Ervin Tu, who is responsible for investments within the group, will temporarily take on the role of CEO of both Naspers and Prosus. Tu is known as a dealmaker. He moved from Japanese tech investor SoftBank to Naspers and Prosus two years ago. He previously worked at the American investment bank, Goldman Sachs, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions. Naspers and Prosus further announced that the strategic objectives and their share buyback program remain unchanged.

Van Dijk’s departure follows the completion of a process to remove the complicated ownership relationship between Naspers and Prosus, which he himself had set up. In an unusual arrangement, Prosus owned almost half of the South African parent company. That structure was set up in 2021 in an attempt to address the distorted picture that Prosus has regarding Tencent. The Amsterdam firm holds 26 percent of Tencent’s shares, but many investors found that structure too complex and ineffective.

In June, South African regulators approved the plan to remove that structure, and that process is now complete. Last Thursday, the Prosus share price showed a striking fall of more than 50 percent on the Amsterdam stock exchange. This had to do with the simplification of the ownership structure between the two companies.

Existing Prosus shareholders received the right to receive new shares. However, this resulted in a dilution of the value of the existing stock.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/09/18/highest-paid-ceo-suddenly-resigns-prosus-naspers Highest-paid CEO suddenly resigns from Prosus and Naspers

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