JOHANNESBURG, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Dutch-listed technology investor Prosus NV PRX.AS and its South African parent Naspers NPNJn.J said on Monday Bob van Dijk has stepped down as chief executive officer from both companies.
The companies named investment chief Ervin Tu, a previous VisionBank manager and Goldman Sachs technology banker, as interim CEO.
The companies did not provide a reason for Van Dijk’s departure. However it coincides with the unwinding Monday of a cross-structure between Prosus and Naspers.
Van Dijk oversaw Prosus’s 2019 IPO and the company’s stock boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. However he struggled to close a valuation gap between Prosus, Naspers and the value of their biggest asset: Chinese software giant Tencent0700.HK .
Prosus holds a 26% stake Tencent, which is currently worth around $387 billion.
The company now faces a fight to ease the discount between the value of the Tencent stake and Naspers.
In the post-pandemic bust, shares have declined along with a fall in valuation of high-growth technology investments.
More recently, Prosus was forced to dispose of some of its most attractive smaller assets in Russia at a discount in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
Van Dijk, who has led Naspers since 2014 and Prosus since 2019, has agreed to remain as a consultant until Sept. 30, 2024, the companies said in a statement.
“The group’s strategic goals remain unchanged and it is on target to deliver on its commitments,” the global consumer internet companies said in a statement.