The directors of the Huge Group bring a wide range of skills, expertise and knowledge to the group.
Dr Duarte da Silva - Non-executive Chairman
PhD (Eng); BSc (Mech Eng)
Appointed: 1 March 2016
Member of: Remuneration Committee (Chairman); Risk Committee
Duarte has more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry, having concurrently been the Regional Head of Macquarie’s (Macquarie is a Global invetsment Bank, originating out of Australia) African Operations and Chief Executive Officer of a joint venture Macquarie First South (a financial services company he founded in 2002) until 2016. With whilst at the helm of Macquarie, the business generated in excess of US$100 million of income, focusing on investment banking, Equity trading, Equity Capital markets, and infrastructure asset management.
Prior to joining Macquarie, Duarte was Deputy Chairman of McCarthy Bank (chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa). He was also an executive director Merrill Lynch South Africa, where he was the Number 1 Rated Technology Analyst.
Duarte holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD) from the University of the Witwatersrand, which he obtained at the age of 24.
Vincent Mokhele Mokholo - Non-Executive Director
BSc (Unv. Limpopo) Telecom MBA (Informa Academy UK)
Appointed: 2 July 2007
Member of: Remuneration Committee; Social and Ethics Committee
Vincent has more than 18 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and served as the Chairman of the Huge Group from January 2013 to March 2016. Vincent joined TelePassport in 1999 and was serving as its Client Services Director at the time of merging with Centracell to form Huge Telecom. Prior to the merger, he played a significant role in the empowerment transaction which culminated in Mojaho Trading acquiring 30% of TelePassport.
Vincent was instrumental in the development of Huge Telecom following the merger. During his time with Huge Telecom, Vincent held the positions of Deputy Managing Director and was responsible for bedding down the operations and service deliverables for the combined entity. In addition, he was part of the team which listed Huge Group on Altx in 2007 and the main board of the JSE in 2016. Vincent was also Director of Ambient Mobile from March 2011 to March 2016, during a portion of which he served as its Chief Executive Officer.
Vincent attended an educational fellowship administered by the Educational Opportunities Council in Cairo, Egypt. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Limpopo. Mokholo completed a course in Telecoms MBA with Informa Telecom Academy based in the United Kingdom.
Vincent is presently the Operations Director of Mano Coal, a significant coal logistics and trading business.
Stephen Peter Tredoux - Lead Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointed: 26 March 2008
Member of: Audit Committee; Risk Committee; Social and Ethics Committee (Chairman)
Steve has extensive management and board experience, having served as the Chairman of the Huge Group from December 2010 to December 2012 and was appointed as the Lead Independent Director with effect from January 2013, which position he currently holds. From 2007 to date, Steve has held various directorships at Hue Group and Huge Telecom, in both an executive and non-executive capacity, where he was instrumental in identifying growth opportunities for the Company.
Prior to joining Huge, Steve was the Group Executive – Sales and Retail Marketing for MTN Group from 1995 to 2006, where he was instrumental in establishing and growing the company’s distribution channels from 14 to an excess of 10 000. He also contributed to the launch of MTN’s post-paid packages and pre-paid products, and the development of its integrated customer service offerings. He participated the development and implementation of the strategy to MTN’s presence in Africa and the development of the MTN brand.
Steve has also held senior management and accounting positions, including National Data Systems, Copyreel Productions, AVVID, and TL Electronics. Steve has over 30 years of experience in sales distribution, marketing and product development, most of which has been applied in the telecommunications and technology sector.
Dennis Robert Gammie - Independent Non-Executive Director
Appointed: 29 June 2012
Member of: Audit Committee (Chairman); Nomination Committee (Chairman); Remuneration Committee; Risk Committee (Chairman)
Dennis has extensive board and management experience, having served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Aveng Group, the Financial Director Murray & Roberts Materials and a subsidiary of the Imperial Group. He also held an acting Managing Director position over a large steel manufacturing and underground mining subsidiary of the Aveng Group and chaired on various board committees.
During his tenure at Aveng Group, Dennis was instrumental in many of the significant advancements of the company, including the listing of the Aveng Group on the JSE. In 2001, Dennis was successful in securing the first R1 billion US bond for a construction company, delineated in ZAR, with no currency risk. In addition, Dennis played a key role in implementing Aveng’s active national and international investment strategy through the integration of new businesses into the Aveng Group. This included the acquisition and delisting of McConnell Dowell, which had previously been listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He also participated in the successful disposal of large listed and unlisted entities as part of this strategy.
From the time of joining Aveng Group in 1998 until his retirement in 2010, Dennis oversaw the growth of its revenue base from approximately R5 billion to a cash generative and highlight profitable entity with a market capitalisation of R40 billion.
Craig Lyons - Independent Non-Executive Director
B.Comm, D.Soc (Economics)
Appointed: 3 July 2017
Member of: Audit Committee; Investment Committee; Nomination Committee
Craig is an experienced and accomplished investment banker and businessman with extensive strategic, management and finance experience gained in various industries and from having developed and led a number of pre-eminent businesses in Southern Africa. He is presently a Non-Executive Director of a number of companies and previously the held the position as CEO of Mvelaphanda Strategic Investments.
Craig actively participates as an independent director on various company boards, committees and investment funds. During his career he has successfully co-founded, lead and managed two South African investment companies, one of which was listed on the JSE. Craig has also spear-headed a number of high profile investment transactions in a multitude of sectors with a combined transaction value in excess of R28 billion.
Brian Armstrong - Independent Non-Executive Director
BSc, MSc, PhD
Appointed: 1 September 2017
Member of: Nomination Committee; Risk Committee
Brian has more than 30 years of top level management experience in telecommunications, IT, technology research and development and systems engineering, both in South Africa and internationally. He presently holds the position of Professor in the Chair of Digital Business at Wits Business School and previously held the positions of Group Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Commercial Officer at Telkom SA SOC Limited. Prior to joining Telkom in 2010, Dr Armstrong was the Vice President for Middle East and Africa at the BT Group Plc. He has also held positions at the CSIR, ultimately as the Director of the Division for Information and Communications Technology. He was the Managing Director of listed ICT services Group AST Networks (now Gijima).
James Charles Herbst - Chief Executive Officer
BComm, BAcc, CFA, CA(SA)
Appointed: 1 September 2006
Member of: Investment Committee
James has over 20 years of experience in the investment industry, 14 of which have been within the telecommunications industry. James joined Huge Group as its Chief Financial Officer in 2006 and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2008. His appointment as Chief Executive Officer of Huge Group coincided with his appointment as the Managing Director of Huge Telecom, a position he held until 31 March 2018.
During this time, James was responsible for re-engineering the business model of Huge Telecom from a least cost routing company to a fully-fledged telephony company, resetting Huge Telecom’s cost base, pioneering innovations in the delivery of the Full Suite Telephony (FST) offering and the in-house development of a 3G router and building an indirect channel to market of over 500 Business Partners, which has seen Huge Telecom grow its base of telephone lines from a zero base to over 40 000. This re-engineering and growth took place while James managed Huge Group as a listed company. James was responsible for the initial listing of Huge Group on AltX in 2008 and supported the move to the main board of the JSE in 2016. James has also been instrumental in driving the investment strategy for Huge Group, which has resulted in the acquisitions of Huge Connect and Huge Networks in March 2016.
James started his investment career as a private client portfolio manager at Fleming Martin Private Asset Management and BoE, with responsibility for a significant base of personal wealth portfolios. James entered the mergers and acquisitions space in 2003, facilitating various listings of businesses on AltX. In 2004, he was a principal member of the team that listed DataPro Group (now Vox Telecom). Whilst as DataPro Group James held the position of Chief Financial Officer and oversaw the empowerment transaction with Vantage Capital and the acquisition of the internet service provider @lantic.
Andy Openshaw - Chief Operating Officer
Appointed: 1 March 2019
Andy has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications sector. Before joining Huge, Andy was the Chief Executive Officer of the Reunert Communication Cluster. He also acted as the Chief Executive Officer of ECN, following its sale to Reunert and integration into the Reunert ICT segment. Prior to joining ECN, Andy operated TDC, a major supplier of high-tech telecommunication products to Telkom.
Under Andy’s leadership, ECN became one of South Africa’s leading voice and data service providers. Andy successfully leveraged the ECN offerings through a wide base of channel partners, including the Reunert owned Nashua franchise channel, making it a significant contributor to Reunert.
Prior to entering the telecommunications sector, Andy fulfilled senior sales and marketing positions at Glaxo Pharmaceuticals. He was also a founding partner of Professional Pet Products, which produced the enormously successful Vets Choice brand. Andy is presently the chairman of Radford Dale (The Winery of Good Hope). In addition to his BPharm, Andy has also completed the Advanced Executive Program at the UNISA School of Business Leadership.
Karen Robinson - Company Secretary
LLB, LLM, FCIS
Appointed: 1 September 2017
Member of: Social and Ethics Committee
Karen is an experienced company secretary, having worked in both the listed and unlisted environment. She has experience in the construction, mining, financial services and telecommunications industries and previously served as the Company Secretary of Aveng Limited, Gold Fields Limited and FedGroup.
Karen holds LLB and LLM degrees and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries. She is the Chairman of the Education Committee of the Chartered Secretaries of Southern Africa and a member of the Professional Standards Committee of the ICSA, the international institute of company secretaries.