Murphy Morobe plans one-year sabbatical, may write book

Murphy Morobe, chief executive officer of Kagiso Media, plans to take a one-year sabbatical to pursue other interests that may include a “writing project” following an announcement today that he will step down in 2013 after six years at the helm of the company.

Morobe will assist Kagiso Media in recruiting a successor until the end of its fiscal year on 30 June 2013 or upon the appointment of a new chief executive, according to a statement by the Johannesburg-based company. Kagiso Media is an investment holding company with interests in radio broadcasting, publishing, advertising and information services, whose assets include East Coast Radio, Jacaranda FM, Urban Brew Studios and Juta & Co.

“I’m four years from retirement and at this point in my life I need a change as I feel I can still make a contribution in other areas of life,” Morobe told Finweek in a telephone interview. “I’m going to take a year off once my successor is appointed. I plan to spend most of that time with my family but there’s the prospect of a writing project that I’m considering as an extramural activity.”

Morobe has helped reduce Kagiso Media’s reliance on advertising by pursuing acquisitions that have cut advertising’s share of revenue to 61%, compared with 80% when he joined in 2006 .  The company plans to reduce that to 50% by 2015, Morobe told Finweek in an interview last month.

In September Kagiso Media made a cumulative offer of R335m to purchase the EXPgroup of companies, events marketer Trinergy as well as Bulls Rugby Holdings, which holds 50% of the shares in the Blue Bulls Co. The firm also acquired academic publisher Juta & Co this year, as well as market research company Kaufman Levin Associates.

“I’ve been at the company for six years now and I strongly feel that it needs fresh blood to take it to the next level,” said Morobe.

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