Ron Stringfellow, a former executive director of SAB Miller PLC who headed up the Southern Sun/Tsogo Sun group for 16 years, has been appointed non-executive chairman of Swift Channel Application Development (SCAD), a Johannesburg-based software development company.
SCAD operates throughout Africa, primarily in the financial services field with clients such as Barclays Africa. The company also provides solutions to De Beers in Botswana and has recently appointed an agent in Zimbabwe.
Announcing the appointment, SCAD chief executive officer Andy Fensham said Stringfellow’s appointment is designed to help position the company as a leading provider of business solutions in both the local and international markets.
“Although SCAD Software is a relatively new company, we have developed a unique design and development methodology that enables us to guarantee the delivery of very specific business solutions and applications to exacting client requirements in a fraction of the time that it takes to design and develop similar applications using conventional tools.
“Our methodology provides a framework that could revolutionise the software industry and in order to take advantage of this opportunity it was necessary to appoint an experienced business strategist to the board to play a key role in our future,” said Fensham.
“We are extremely fortunate to have attracted the commitment of an executive of Ron’s calibre. However, before agreeing to the appointment he conducted an independent assessment of our product offering and I am pleased to say that he is so confident in the future of our company that not only has he accepted the appointment as chairman, but he has become a significant shareholder in the company,” he said.
Stringfellow, who lived in France and the United States for five years after retiring from the SAB Group in 2006, returned to live in South Africa earlier this year to pursue personal business interests.
Stringfellow said that while he is the first to admit that he is no IT expert, it didn’t take him long to confirm that SCAD’s unique framework and development methodology provides an exciting and potentially lucrative business opportunity.
“SCAD has developed something quite unique in the software industry and I intend to add strategic direction to help position the company as a global player in the foreseeable future. It is very exciting to get in on the ground floor and help the company realise its full potential,” he said.
Stringfellow, who qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloittes in Zimbabwe after completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Natal Durban in 1971, enjoyed a distinguished 25-year career in the SAB Miller Group before his retirement in 2006.
During his career in the SAB group in Zimbabwe he was CFO of Delta Corporation, executive chairman of Delta’s retail operations and of CEO Zimbabwe Sun, Delta’s hotel and casino subsidiary.
In 1990 he was transferred by SAB to South Africa to take control of Southern Sun Hotels and to take responsibility for Southern Sun’s entry into the casino industry with the formation of Tsogo Sun, a group that today encompasses 14 casinos and over 90 hotels.