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CEO of Accelerate Cape Town Chris Whelan steps down

Chris Whelan from Accelerate Cape Town is stepping down as CEO.

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Accelerate Cape Town (ACT) has made a name for itself as a facilitator between government, corporate and higher education to help drive dialogue around innovation in South Africa.

After three years, Whelan is relocating to New Zealand to lead the newly formed Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency as its first chief executive.

“On the one hand, I love South Africa but, on the other, it’s such a huge opportunity for me. The role of business for South Africa going forward just can’t be overstated,” Whelan tells Ventureburn. He elaborates in an official announcement:

I leave ACT at a time when the role of business in helping to accelerate inclusive, sustainable economic growth could not be more important to South Africa’s future. It is heartening to know that the vision set in place with the board in recent years will endure.

Gavin Tipper, who’s chairman of ACT, added that Whelan has been the main driver in shaping what the organisation is today:

We respect Chris’s decision to take on a challenge he is so ideally suited to. During his time at ACT he drew on his business experience and skill as a futurist to navigate its transition from think tank to business leadership organisation. In doing so, he has ensured its relevance to our expanding member base long into the future. Chris leaves us having put a firm foundation for ACT’s success in place, and we wish him and his family everything of the best for the future.

Whelan will leave the organisation at the end of July 2015. A recruitment process for a successor to Whelan has commenced and will be decided by the existing board.

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