Matone Ditlhake new CEO of Optic Comm Networks

Former CFO Awards nominee Matone Ditlhake has left his role in finance at Groupe SEB to fill the CEO role at Optic Comm Networks, a company partly owned by The Wired Corp.

Ditlhake says he moved "more out of curiosity" as he wanted to work in a space that was an enabler for South Africa's development as a country. He says that internet and internet access should be "as important as water" and "should be a basic human right".

Asked how he feels about moving from the CFO to the CEO role, Ditlhake said:

"As the CFO, you are basically in the engine room of the company. You are working on the numbers and know what the strategy is. It's a natural move to a CEO role - you know what's happening in the back room so you're able to make informed decisions. I think the upwards move to CEO is to take more of a strategy and leadership role. The CFO role has changed so much. The next role as CEO would be for you to put all of this together. What comes forth is people management. That's all you need to master - your soft skills."

Ditlhake says that CFO South Africa played "a significant role" in his outlook. He said:

"Being able to interact with other CFOs and see where they are in their careers, you gain experience and inspiration from that. The community allows you to see where the trends are. I would say that the reason for my move came about via my own interactions on the CFO South Africa platform. It's an essential platform that every CFO should be part of. And, even though I'm no longer a CFO, I still feel part of the family."

Optic Comm Networks operates in the telecoms space, primarily setting up infrastructure.