- Koos Bekker
Chairman, Naspers Group Business Circle
Koos Bekker is Chairman of leading emerging markets media group Naspers. The company operates in 130 countries and is listed on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. It has the largest market capitalization of any media company outside the US and China (see www.naspers.com) In the 1970’s Koos studied law and literature at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, where he was editor of the student newspaper. Then an LLB degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, while simultaneously translating TV dramas at night. In the 1980’s he read an MBA degree at Columbia University in New York, where he researched pay television while the industry was in the of being born. Immediately after graduation and as a result of an MBA project paper, Koos and a few young colleagues created a pay TV business in South Africa with shareholding by local newspaper groups. In 1986 M-Net was one of the first pay television ventures anywhere outside the USA. Since then the group has brown into one of the most successful media groups globally. Where Naspers had an implied value of some $24m in 1985, it is now worth more than $50 billion. Today Naspers owns various e-commerce groups in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well as interests in Tencent in China and Mail.ru in Russia. It manages pay television in 50 countries across the African continent, plus some technology, consumer magazines, newspapers and book publishing.
Koos is a past winner of the South African chapter of the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Award. He also received, the Sunday Times lifetime Achievement Award. He sat on the Local Organising Committee for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup and was awarded an honorary doctorate in commerce by the University of Stellenbosch.