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In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Mxit has announced that acting CEO Francois Swart will take permanent charge of the top job at the mobile social network.
Swart, who has been at Mxit for a good while now, has been acting CEO since Alan-Knott Craig Jr stepped down from the post in late 2012.
He was one of our top picks for the job back in March
As we noted then Swart is a good candidate with a strong financial background, something which would have been pleasing to the Mxit board. He also worked quite closely with Knott-Craig Jnr and can perhaps still preserve some of his vision to grow and transform the company into one with a seriously viable future.
According to billionaire Paul Harris, a major investor in Mxit, “Francois has been the de facto CEO for almost a year now and has the respect and trust of his management team, staff and the shareholders. This comes from proactively leading and transforming the business to what it is today. Mxit is in a great position right now and this is in part due to the leadership he has displayed.”
“It’s an exciting time to be leading Mxit,” says Swart. “The mobile landscape is a very dynamic and competitive space, much more so now than when Mxit first entered the market. What we have lacked in the past is a strong smart phone presence. But that is changing. Over the last year we’ve refined our strategy to respond to the changing environment and to re-focus on what we’re really good at, and what our users love about the platform,”.
“South Africans spend more time on Mxit than any other social network,” says Swart. “It was ‘born’ around about the same time as Facebook, and long before Whatsapp, BBM or WeChat. Mxit has been the chosen chat platform for the South African youth for the last eight years and it still is. We have an incredible technology platform and handle roughly the same volume of messages as Twitter does worldwide. I am immensely proud of what the team has built,” says Swart.
According to Swart, the mobile social network’s priority over the next little while will be building its relationships with businesses in South Africa.
“Our top priority over the next few months is to show the business community what a powerful platform Mxit is to reach the youth of South Africa. There is nothing else like it. Whether you want to build a community or advertise Mxit has proven to be highly effective and we are breaking advertising sales records every month,” says Swart.
Certainly under Swart, Mxit appears to have started growing its active user base again. The mobile social network currently has around 7.4-million active monthly users, up from just over six-million a couple of months back.
Mxit users are also still seriously devoted to the app, spending an average of just over an hour and a half on Mxit every day and sending an average of 400-million messages.