Bob van Dijk, the chief executive of Dutch e-commerce investor Prosus and its controlling shareholder Naspers, has resigned from the top role and from the boards with immediate effect. Ervin Tu, Prosus’ Group Chief Investment Officer, has been elevated to the position of interim chief executive for companies that hold significant stakes in major software, payments, edtech, and food delivery enterprises and startups worldwide.
The firms didn’t say why Van Dijk, 50, had stepped down, but asserted that the decision was “mutually agreed.” The news press release from the firms oddly didn’t include a statement from Van Dijk, who assumed the top role at the firms in 2014.
Someone with knowledge of the companies indicated that the transition had been planned for a while, as Van Dijk had accomplished almost all the objectives he had outlined for himself. He will continue to consult the boards for a year.
“The Boards of Prosus and Naspers want to thank Bob for his leadership over a full decade,” said Koos Bekker, chair of Prosus, in a statement. “During this time substantial businesses were established in Classifieds, Food Delivery and Payments, while we also entered several new fields. We appreciate Bob’s contributions and wish him much success with his future career.”
A $32 million 2001 investment in China’s Tencent propelled Naspers to become a leading global investor. Over the past two decades, the company has solidified its position as a dominant backer, funneling funds into various firms, including StackOverflow, Delhivery Hero, Trip.com, Udemy, PayU, Byju’s, Swiggy, and Meesho.
“Prosus is operating with momentum. I am honored to assume the role and help shape the future of the Group. I couldn’t be more excited about the team around me and to get started,” said Ervin in a statement.
More to follow.