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Nov 05, 2010

Winston Smith

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Full Name: Winston Charles Smith

Position: MD of Alvarion South Africa (Southern Africa and Nigeria)

Main Activity of the Company: Provision of 4G WiMax and wireless broadband solutions

Date and Place of Birth: January 24, 1965, Cape Town

Education: National technical diploma in electrical engineering (light current), Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 1986; postgraduate diploma in ecommerce, University of South Africa, 2001; leadership and management development programme, Stellenbosch University, 2009

First Job: Technician at Telkom

Career History Prior to Current Position: I held various positions at Telkom during a 15-year tenure, ending up as portfolio manager: data centre services. I then worked for Infosat Communications as head: product development, before moving to Sentech, where I worked for nearly four years, ending up as portfolio manager: broadband wireless. Subsequently, I was manager: wireless deployment and operations at MWeb for just over three years, before assuming my current position in April this year

Size of First Pay Packet: R166,18 a month

First Job with Present Group: MD

Value of Assets under Your Control: Not stated

Number of People under Your Leadership: Six

Management Style: Cooperative

Personal Best Achievement: My son and my daughter

Professional Best Achievement: My current position

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My grandfather for his zest for life. He married for the second time at the age of 81

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Mervyn Goliath, the chief technology officer of MWeb, my previous boss and previous manager when I worked at Telkom

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Author Bill Bryson

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Writer and management consultant Peter Drucker

Philosophy of Life: Keep things simple

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Meeting Nelson Mandela and spending a few minutes with him, while I was working at Telkom

Biggest Ever Disappointment: I did not have the opportunity to manage a national wireless network roll-out owing to the unavailability of licence spectrum and other issues

Hope for the Future: That we have a safe and happy environment at work and at home

Favourite Reading: Autobiographies, good thrillers and educational books

Favourite TV Programme: News and sport

Favourite Food/Drink: A good curry/a good malt beer

Favourite Music: Classical, technoclassical (particularly Vanessa Mae) and choral music

Favourite Sport: Soccer

Favourite Website: Toss-up between Supersport.com and Google.com

Hobbies: Photography, reading, travel and watching sport

Car: Audi

Pets: Three dogs

Miscellaneous Dislikes: I’m not a fan of the driving habits of the majority of South Africans

Favourite Other South African Company: The Cancer Association of South Africa

Favourite Foreign Company: Google

Married: Yes

Children: An 11-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter

Clubs: Anchor10, a charity organisation that supports children from broken homes and aims to reunite them with their families

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
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