Bob van Dijk, the chief executive of Dutch e-commerce investor Prosus and its controlling shareholder Naspers, has unexpectedly resigned from the top role and from the board with immediate effect. Ervin Tu, Prosus’ Group Chief Investment Officer, has been elevated to the position of interim chief executive for companies that hold significant stakes in major commerce enterprises and startups worldwide.
The firms didn’t say why Van Dijk, 50, was leaving. The news press release from the firms didn’t include a statement from Van Dijk, who assumed the top role at the firms in 2014.
“The Boards of Prosus and Naspers want to thank Bob for his leadership over a full decade,” said Koos Bekker, chair of Prosus in a statement. “During this time substantial businesses were established in Classifieds, Food Delivery and Payments, while we also entered several new fields. We appreciate Bob’s contributions and wish him much success with his future career.”
The firms said their boards and Van Dijk “mutually agreed” that he will step down from his position. He will continue to consult the board for a year.
“Prosus is operating with momentum. I am honored to assume the role and help shape the future of the Group. I couldn’t be more excited about the team around me and to get started,” said Ervin in a statement.
A $32 million 2001 investment in Tencent propelled Naspers to become a leading global investor. Over the past two decades, the company has solidified its position as a dominant backer, funneling funds into various firms, including StackOverflow, Udemy, PayU, Byju’s, Swiggy, and Meesho.
More to follow.