Jacobus Petrus “Koos” Bekker is a famous South African billionaire businessman and the chairman of media group Naspers with his company operating in over 130 countries across the globe.
Koos Bekker’s Educational Background
Koos Bekker attended the famous Hoër Volkskool Heidelberg. He later completed degrees at Stellenbosch University in law and literature and at Wits University.
He went further to have an MBA from Columbia Business School, New York and an honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University respectively.
Koos Bekker’s Career
Koos Bekker started off as an advertiser. After few years in advertising, he obtained an MBA degree from Columbia Business School in 1984.
Koos Bekker, in his journey of life, has achieved so much. We can only summarize numerous achievements he has so far recorded, though not without challenges to the top.
Koos entered into partnership with his business associates and eventually founded one of the first two pay-television services outside of the US. M-Net and its sister companies, Multichoice, which eventually expanded to 48 countries across Africa.
In the 1990s, Koos Bekker was a founding director of mobile communication company, MTN.
In 1997, Bekker became CEO of Naspers, one of the initial investors in the M-Net/Multichoice group. Naspers bought out the other shareholders. During his tenure, the market capitalization of Naspers grew from about $1.2 billion to $45 billion.
His compensation package was unusual in that for fifteen years as CEO, he earned no salary, bonus or perks. He was compensated solely via stock option grants that vested over time.
The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
It also has the largest market capitalization of any media company outside the US, China and India.
Koos Bekker also made Forbes 2019 list of The World’s Billionaires as the the 1002nd-wealthiest person in the world and the fourth-wealthiest South African, with a fortune of about 2.3 billion dollars.
In 2020, Bekker was ranked the third-wealthiest South African by Forbes, with a fortune reported at $2.4 billion dollars.
Under Bekker, Naspers invested in pay television, mobile telephony and various internet services. The group conducts business in Europe, Africa, Latin America, China, India, Russia, and other smaller countries of the world.
Like any other human being on earth, the business giant also had a fair share of challenges in life.
Former South African Minister for Communications, Yunus Carrim testified to the Zondo Commission into State Capture that Bekker had played a significant role in irregularly pressuring government officials to protect MultiChoice’s effective monopoly over South Africa’s pay-TV sector.
Carrim stated that this was done by lobbying government to prevent the opening up and rollout of encryption capacity in set-top boxes.
MultiChoice however denied these allegations, noting that Carrim confirmed that he had no personal knowledge of any fraud or corruption on MultiChoice’s part.
The Constitutional Court has held that Government’s digital migration policy is not centered around individual players in the broadcasting industry and that the policy decision to dump decryption capability in government subsidized DTT set top boxes was in the best interests of the poor and the broader public. [Electronic Media Network Limited and Others v e.tv (Pty) Limited and Others 2017 (9) BCLR 1108 (CC).
His Personal life
Koos Bekker is happily married to his lovely wife, Karen Roos and they are blessed with two children. The family resides in Cape Town, South Africa.
Koos Bekker’s Net Worth
Koos Bekker is indeed one of the richest men in South African and the world at large with an estimated net worth as of April 2022 placed at $2.3 billion dollars.
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