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Masiyiwa Steps Down From Econet Board

Founder and majority shareholder of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited (Econet ZW), Strive Masiyiwa has retired from the company board with effect from the 1st of February 2022, the company has announced.

Masiyiwa is the founder of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited and the Econet Group and has been on the Board of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited since inception of the Company in 1993 and its subsequent listing in 1998.

“The Board of Directors of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited would like to announce that Mr Strive Masiyiwa has retired from the Board with effect from 1 February 2022,” the group said in a statement on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

“The board and management take this opportunity to express their appreciation to Mr Masiyiwa for his entrepreneurial leadership and his unwavering commitment to the company and for his philanthropy that has changed the lives of so many in Zimbabwe and across Africa.”

Masiyiwa’s net worth is estimated at US$2.7 billion and according to Forbes’ latest rankings he is the 10th richest African tied with South Africa’s Jacobus Petrus Bekker, the founding director of African Telecommunications giant MTN and Chairman of Naspers.

Masiyiwa who seats on countless global boards was recently appointed board member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in 2020 was named among board of directors of the video streaming platform, Netflix.

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He is also the Special Envoy to the African Union (AU) on COVID-19, and coordinator of the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team.

Masiyiwa has always maintained that the company is not his personal belonging but he merely hold the biggest stake hence it can still succeed in his absence.

“I have never personally held more than 50%, since (Econet) was listed. So I actually don’t own the company. I’m simply the largest single shareholder,” said Masiyiwa on his Facebook page in 2019.

He is not the first founder and major shareholder of a company to step aside from the board.

In March 2020, fellow billionaire Bill Gates left the board of Microsoft, a company he co-founded in 1975 with Paul Allen, who died in 2018.

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