BREAKING NEWS: Media24's board of directors announced on Friday afternoon, 15 April 2011, that its current group CEO Francois Groepe has made an offer to lead a buy-out of the school book publishers, Via Afrika Education. In order to pursue the bid and negotiate a detailed agreement, Groepe will resign as Media24 group CEO, to be succeeded by Esmaré Weideman, effective 1 May 2011.
Esmaré Weideman, currently editor-in-chief of Media24's flagship weekly news magazines, Huisgenoot
, said she was "surprised but delighted" with her appointment as CEO. "This is a time of many challenges, but hugely exciting opportunities for media companies. It would be an honour to steer Media24 at this crucial time in its history. I hope to make each and every one of Media24's employees a proud member of the team."
Said Groupe said: "After nearly eight happy and successful years in various senior management roles in Media24, the last three years as chief executive officer, I am excited to embark on this new challenge with the Via Afrika Education management team with whom I worked especially closely over the past year.
"Having come to the conclusion that to be successful Via Afrika Education is best positioned as a standalone business, I have decided to embark on a journey towards becoming a social entrepreneur. There is no more important contribution we could make to the future than innovation for success in education. I am privileged to work with a proven team in the only 100% South African educational publisher."Board expressed appreciation
Prof Jakes Gerwel, chair of the board of Media24, expressed the appreciation of the board for the work done by Groepe over the course of eight years. He said the board will consider the details of the offer in the next few weeks. "I wish Francois well in this ambitious venture. He is exceptionally well qualified to lead the new group."
Groepe thanked the Media24 board for its support over the years and for the many different and interesting challenges it gave him. "I wish my successor well. Although I will miss my colleagues, I am excited about the prospects of the road on which I now embark and hope that it would make a significant contribution to the greater good of South Africa."
Regarding the future, Groepe observed that "Media24 has a capable top management team in place. I have every confidence that the Media24 team under new leadership will continue to be successful."