Best tech CEO in South Africa

Zak Calisto

An analysis by Daily Investor revealed that Zak Calisto, Bob van Dijk, and Pierre Spies are the technology CEOs who provided the best shareholder returns during their tenure.

For this analysis, Daily Investor looked at the shareholder returns – share price growth and dividends – under prominent technology CEOs.

The analysis revealed that Karoo CEO Zak Calisto tops the list with total annualised shareholder returns of 29%.

Calisto started Cartrack in 2001 as a joint venture with Netstar. However, the partnership did not work out as planned, and in 2004 Cartrack went on its own.

Cartrack showed exceptional growth and became a powerhouse in tracking, data analytics, and business intelligence.

In April 2021, Cartrack became a privately owned company by publicly listed company Karooooo which is listed on the Nasdaq and JSE.

Calisto is based in Singapore, where Karooooo is headquartered, to focus on the company’s global expansion.

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk ranked second with an annualized shareholder return of 16%.

Van Dijk took the reins as Naspers chief executive from Koos Bekker in April 2014. He previously headed up Naspers’ e-commerce section and worked at eBay Germany and Schibsted classifieds.

Under his tenure, Naspers unbundled MultiChoice, listed it on the JSE and created Prosus as the international Internet assets division of Naspers.

Alviva CEO Pierre Spies ranked third with an annualised shareholder return of 11%.

Spies has been leading Alviva Holdings since January 2016 and oversees many of South Africa’s top tech companies, including Axiz, Pinnacle, Tarsus, and Datacentrix.

Under Spies’ leadership, Alviva grew revenue, net asset value per share, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation).

Spies credited the company’s performance to sticking to its turnaround strategy, which was first implemented four years ago.

Best technology CEOs

The table below shows prominent South African technology CEOs based on shareholder returns.

CEOCompanyAnnualized Returns
Zak CalistoCartrack/Karooooo29%
Bob van DijkNaspers16%
Pierre SpiesAlviva11%
Brad SacksCapital Appreciation8%
Juergen DreselAlaris7%
Jens MontananaDatatec2%
Brett LevyBlue Label Telecoms0%
Mark LevyBlue Label Telecoms0%
Greg MorrisSebata Holdings0%
Shaun PrithivirajhEllies-16%
Stephen van CollerEOH-39%