28th February 2024 3:44 am
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Cell C poaches another former Vodacom exec

  • Cell C has appointed a new chief marketing officer in Melanie Forbes.
  • Forbes was most recently serving as managing executive at Vodacom, where she spent the past 15 years.
  • She is now the second Vodacom executive to be appointed in the same number of months after CEO Jorge Mendes, also a Vodacom veteran, took the helm of Cell C.

It seems Jorge Mendes, formerly a Vodacom marketing executive and now CEO of Cell C, is not yet done building his team and has now added yet another Vodacom veteran to his C-suite.

After taking the top spot at the telecom in June, Mendes brought over Rachael Ayo-Oladejo, also formerly of Vodacom to oversee staff and transformation strategy for Cell C, and now has added a new chief marketing officer in Melanie Forbes.

Prior to this new appointment, Forbes spent 15 years at Vodacom, where she came to know Mendes. Forbes will begin her tenure at Cell C on 1st August 2023, bringing over 25 years of experience in the Telecommunications, IT, and Consumer Electronics industries.

In a press statement sent to Hypertext, Cell C shares that Forbes previously worked with brands such as Philips, NetFlorist (NetActive), Siemens, Nokia (NSN), and most recently Vodacom.

In particular, during her almost 15-year tenure at Vodacom, Forbes held key executive positions at the rival firm, including in commercialisation, governance & operationalisation, products & services, P&L management, regional operations, brand Management and marketing.

Most recently, Forbes served as Vodacom’s Managing Executive for Consumer Marketing, Insights & Research.

“We are thrilled to welcome Melanie as our CMO. We have solid plans to drive sustainable, profitable growth and her proven leadership, strategic acumen, and deep understanding of the industry will be instrumental in the implementation of innovative marketing plans to elevate our brand,” shared an excited Mendes on the new appointment.

In terms of education, Forbes’ qualifications include certificates from institutions such as Harvard for its Senior Executive Programme, INSEAD, and GIBS for Strategy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications from UNISA, a certificate in Marketing Management from WITS Business School, and a Brain-Based Coaching certification from the Neuroleadership Institute.

“I am excited to be part of the team spearheading the brand’s repositioning, putting customers at the heart of everything we do, and returning the company to growth and profitability. I look forward to making a meaningful impact in the lives of South Africans by harnessing the power of technology,” said Forbes, pictured in the cover image above.

Under Mendes, Cell C has seen a drive in upper management appointments in the last few months. Earlier in June the telecom added a former MTN CEO in Godfrey Motsa to its board of directors.

The recent appointments underscore a Cell C in flux, anticipating changes and a new direction from the top down. Its past financial troubles would be more than enough reason for a new guard to step in, but time will tell if all the new faces in the board room will actually lead to profitability.

[Image – Provided]

Luis Monzon

Luis Monzon

Journalist. Covering education, AAA gaming and consumer tech. Reach me at Luis@htxt.co.za.

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