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Wilcocks takes DiData helm

Derek Wilcocks, managing director of Dimension Data’s Internet Solutions business, has succeeded Allan Cawood as CEO.

Allan Cawood has stepped down as CEO of Dimension Data Middle East & Africa (MEA) to pursue other personal and professional interests, after serving the company since 2001. Derek Wilcocks, Managing Director of Dimension Data’s wholly-owned Internet Solutions business, has succeeded Cawood as CEO with immediate effect. The Group also announced that Saki Missaikos, Sales Director for Dimension Data MEA since 2003, takes over the reins as Managing Director of Internet Solutions.

Cawood first became involved with Dimension Data in 1993 when he sold a 35% stake in his company, Digital Networking Systems (DNS) to Dimension Data. In 1998, when Dimension Data acquired the balance of DNS shares and merged the company with Dimension Data Networking, Allan was appointed the unit’s Managing Director. Allan assumed the role of CEO for Dimension Data South Africa, and later MEA, with responsibility for the Dimension Data, Internet Solutions and Plessey brands.

Wilcocks (41) is no stranger to Dimension Data. He joined the Group as founding Managing Director of Internet Solutions subsidiary, Trusted Network Solutions, in 1995. He has been the Managing Director of Internet Solutions since October 2009. Prior to this role, he has held a number of executive positions during his 14 years with Dimension Data MEA, including running strategy and technology for Dimension Data.

Brett Dawson, Dimension Data’s Group CEO said, ‚Allan has indicated for some time that he would like to pursue other interests, and we are very thankful to him for his long, committed service to the Group. He is responsible for almost all of what we consider Dimension Data MEA today. His leadership has contributed extensively to the development and success of the Group’s MEA business. During Allan’s tenure as CEO, revenues grew from $427 million to $1.2 billion, and operating profits from $66 million to $118 million.

‚Allan was also at the helm through the 2002/2003 IT downturn and was instrumental in restructuring the business and re-energising the workforce to grow the company to its current leading position in the African and Middle East ICT markets. In addition, he was also instrumental in bringing a Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment consortium to Dimension Data in early 2004, when the consortium headed by Andile Ngcaba purchased 25.01% in Dimension Data South Africa. ‚With his excellent track record spanning over 17 years with Dimension Data, I believe Derek will successfully lead the Dimension Data MEA business into an exciting future,‚ said Dawson.

Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Dimension Data MEA, said: ‚In line with Dimension Data’s long standing commitment to promote from within, the board and my executive team have unanimously concluded that Derek Wilcocks, currently Managing Director of Internet Solutions, is the candidate to succeed Allan as CEO of Dimension Data MEA. Derek is highly regarded in the industry and brings with him an outstanding track record with Dimension Data into his new role. In addition, Saki Missaikos boasts a long history with Internet Solutions, having originally joined the company in 1995.‚

During his seven years at Internet Solutions, Missaikos held management positions in both sales and business development, as well as starting up a number of new business units and developing new products and solutions. He moved from Internet Solutions to Dimension Data in 2003 to head up sales and subsequently took on responsibility for sales across the various Dimension Data brands across MEA.


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