Andy Open­shaw

Quit­ting Re­unert’s cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment led to un­ex­pected of­fers and a chance to de­velop en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills

Financial Mail - - PROFILE - In­com­ing COO, Huge Group Larry Claasen [email protected]­nesslive.co.za

Andy Open­shaw didn’t re­ally have a plan in place when he re­signed from tech group Re­unert late last year.

He had joined the group back in 2011 when his em­ployer, ECN Tele­coms, was bought out by Re­unert. Though Open­shaw had started out as ECN’S sales di­rec­tor, he soon rose to be­come MD of Nashua ECN, the en­tity cre­ated from the merger of ECN and Re­unert’s Nashua Mo­bile.

From there, he went on to run sev­eral of Re­unert’s ICT op­er­a­tions, even­tu­ally be­com­ing CEO of the group’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions clus­ter in late 2017.

Open­shaw says while he en­joyed be­ing part of a large cor­po­ra­tion, it didn’t re­ally cater to his en­tre­pre­neur­ial in­stincts. He missed the feel­ing he had be­fore join­ing Re­unert, where he was a part of sev­eral smaller busi­nesses that he had en­joyed build­ing up. “We built ECN into a fan­tas­tic busi­ness,” he re­calls.

By late last year, Open­shaw had had enough of the cor­po­rate life. “I was scared of be­com­ing part of the fur­ni­ture,” he jokes.

He knew it was time to move on. “I re­signed from Re­unert with­out go­ing into a new job. I just wanted to take a year off.”

But then some­thing un­ex­pected hap­pened: word got out that he was leav­ing, and peo­ple started call­ing him to find out if he was in­ter­ested in work­ing for them. One of them was Huge Group CEO James Herbst. Open­shaw agreed to take on the job of Huge Group COO, start­ing on March 1.

Huge Group is nowhere near as large as Re­unert, and Open­shaw

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