Koos Bekker Biography, Net worth and how he became one of South Africa’s Richest Men


Who is Koos Bekker ?

Jacobus Petrus Koos Bekker is a South African billionaire businessman, and the chairman of media group Naspers.

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Koos Bekker was born in Potchefstroom, South Africa in 1952.

He attended Hoër Volkskool Heidelberg and completed degrees
at Stellenbosch University, in law and literature, and at Wits University, in law.

He holds an MBA from Columbia University, New York and an honorary Doctorate in Commerce from Stellenbosch University.
Bekker is married to Karen Roos and has two children.

He was raised as a farm boy.
Koos Bekker’s company, Naspers, operates in 130 countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg
Stock Exchange. It has the largest market capitalization of any media company outside the U.S., China and India.


After Bekker graduated from school, he went into advertising and spent few years in the advertising industry and later got
an MBA degree from the Columbia Business School after graduating in 1984.

He, with a few young colleagues, founded the first
ever pay-television service outside the US, the M-Net, multichoice and other companies.

The companies later expanded to
48 other African countries. He is also a founding member, director by then, of the MTN mobile communication company.

Net Worth

During his tenure, the market capitalization of Naspers grew from about $1.2 billion to $45 billion. His compensation package
was unusual in that for fifteen years as CEO he earned no salary, bonus or perks.

He was compensated solely via stock option
grants that vested over time.

The Forbes 2019 list of The World’s Billionaires ranked Bekker as the 1002nd-wealthiest person in the world, and the
fourth-wealthiest South African, with a fortune of US$2.3 billion.

In 2020, Bekker was ranked as the third-wealthiest
South African by Forbes, with a fortune reported as US$2.4billion.

Awards And Regcognitions

Bekker is one of the people that helped the South Africa to be recognised as a media-tech hub in Africa and the rest of the World.
Through his immense contribution in the media space, he earned the following awards.

  1. Lifetime Achievement Awards, Business Times
  2. 4 Wealthiest South Africans with a fortune of $2.3 billion, Forbes, 2019
  3. Honary Doctorate in Commerce, University of Stellenbosch
  4. Best Entrepreneur, Ernst & Young/Rand Merchant Bank
  5. 1008 wealthiest person in the world, Forbes Rich List, 2019
  6. 11 Africa’s billionaire, Forbes, 2020


The South African business mogul was accused by the then Minister for Communications, Yunus Carrim, of lobbying the government to
prevent opening up and rollout of encryption capacity in the set top boxes, giving him an upper hand in the media business.

MultiChoice has denied these allegations, noting that Carrim confirmed that he had no personal knowledge of any fraud or corruption
on MultiChoice’s part.

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