Wilderness Safaris

Wilderness Safaris

From : Tourismupdate.co.za

By :  Sue van Winsen

4 March 2013

Wilderness Holdings has announced the realignment of its board, which will see several significant changes, including the stepping down of CEO and Director of the Board, Andy Payne.
In a statement to its shareholders, Wilderness Holdings said Payne would complete certain projects in a defined period of time prior to his departure. “The board has elected a committee to manage the process of appointing a new CEO for the company. The committee will consider both internal and external candidates for the position,” said the statement.
Other changes include the appointment of Keith Vincent, current COO, to the position of acting CEO in addition to his current role. Russel Friedman and Dave van Smeerdijk will step down as directors of the board, but Friedman will continue to focus his attention on Wilderness’s non-profit organisations while Van Smeerdijk will remain in his position as the Marketing Sales Director of Wilderness.
Wilderness Holdings says the realignment of the board has been done to improve operations as well as to build further executive capacity and to support its operations in Botswana.
Malcolm McCulloch, Chairman of Wilderness Holdings says the group would like to move more of its capacity and certain functions from Johannesburg to Botswana in order to develop the business further. He says: “Botswana is by far our biggest business so it makes sense for us to make this change.” Wilderness has about 900 employees in Botswana, by far the bulk of its total employee base of 2 500.
McCulloch adds that the decision to shift focus is also based on the untapped opportunities that exist in Botswana, as well as in the region. “Essentially we can tap into these better from Botswana than we can from here.”