TopTV CEO Vino Govender out

2012-02-03 09:35
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – TopTV's CEO Vino Govender is out as CEO of the pay TV operator, replaced with immediate effect by Eddie Mbalo on an interim basis.

Late on Thursday On Digital Media (ODM), the umbrella company of TopTV, announced that Vino Govender "will be stepping down with immediate effect and Eddie Mbalo, chairperson of ODM, will fill the role of interim CEO until a replacement for Govender is appointed".

TopTV's chief financial officer (CFO) Michelle Meth also left the pay TV operator when she resigned last month.

TopTV said a "possible restructure of TopTV to ensure that the company remains competitive and relevant within the pay TV environment in South Africa" is possibly on the cards.

TopTV went through a restructuring a year ago. The pay TV operator's recent plans to launch a separate package of hardcore pornography channels, the application of which encountered a court interdict and was turned down by South Africa's broadcasting regulator, were met with widespread public criticism and damaged the company's brand.

TopTV says Govender "has decided to step down as he has fulfilled his role in planning and executing the setup of the business over the past six years. It is time for fresh blood to take the business to new heights and I am confident the TopTV board will implement and achieve its strategic plans".

'Morale is down'

Govender took over as TopTV's CEO in 2007 when the original founder Mergan Moodley became ill. TopTV launched in May 2010 and managed to sign up just over 300 000 subscribers by the end of last year before the porn debacle erupted.

Investors are reportedly getting anxious about TopTV's weak content. The pay TV service failed to launch a sport channel and have not added any additional new channels promised at launch, but has been losing channels such as Hi Nolly, One Music and in March Current TV.

Mbalo was the former CEO since 2001 of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). Staff at TopTV's Woodmead Office Park building this week told Channel24 that morale inside the company is low. "Morale is down," said a source. "Staff are hearing rumours and no one is communicating what's going on. There's a lot of uncertainty and people are worried about jobs."



  • Mattewis - 2012-02-03 10:53

    What?! CEO & CFO gone! This truly isn't a good sign. The porn thing is reminiscent of a youngster going to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune, but in a last ditch attempt to avoid starvation ending up a prostitute on a street corner instead! One can only it won't be the case with TopTV! Despite the rather poor content, it would do the country a great disservice if TopTV were to go bankrupt. Even many of the so-called "advantaged" cannot afford DSTV, which is rapidly diverging even further away from affordability! With this state of affairs, I would assume it safe to deduce that TopTV's PVR &/or HDTV services won't be forthcoming in Q1 of 2012 as promised (once again)? As far as ANCBC & ETV go: Even if you are able to find a good show to watch, let's say perhaps once every 5 or 6 years, the bits of show screened between the advertising quickly forces you to abandon your endeavor!

  • Johan - 2012-02-03 12:03

    he was watching porn on his laptop during office hours ?

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