The Board of Directors of Wesgro – the official tourism, trade investment and film promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape – has appointed Wrenelle Stander as CEO.

After a “lengthy and rigorous” recruitment process, Stander takes over from Tim Harris as CEO of Wesgro. She will begin her tenure in October.

Michael Spicer, Chairman of the Wesgro Board, said: “Wrenelle is an exceptionally experienced leader, with an impressive public- and private-sector track record and diverse skillset spanning across sectors that are vital for the province – particularly as we navigate complex global times. We are confident that she has the acumen to lead Wesgro into a new phase and will be an asset to the Western Cape in helping speed up provincial economic recovery and drive growth rates higher.”

Tourism Update understands that Harris is moving to the private sector to establish the Africa head office of a global firm.

Heavyweight background

Stander has led multiple, large-scale enterprises, particularly in the transport and energy industries prior to joining Wesgro, holding key executive positions including: CEO of Comair Limited, Managing Director of South Africa’s Air Traffic Navigation Service (ATNS) and Managing Director of Sasol Gas, a subsidiary of Sasol Limited.

She began her career in aviation at South Africa’s National Department of Transport where she rose to become Chief Director of Aviation and Maritime Regulation and also served as Deputy CEO of the SA Civil Aviation Authority. Underpinning her readiness for the role, Stander has sat on a range of boards and has an MBA from Oxford School of Business.

Stander commented: “I am delighted to accept the great responsibility of leading such a world-class organisation in what is a critical time for our economic growth as a country and a province. Wesgro sits at the interface between government and business, which is a catalytic space that I am well versed in. Having been born in Cape Town and educated at Wittebome High School and later UCT, I am looking forward to returning to my hometown once again.”

The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (Aasa) said in a statement that the recruitment process to replace Stander as CEO had already begun. She took up the post after she stepped down as CEO of Comair.

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