Cellulant appoints new leaders, shifts focus to profitability

4 mins read

Cellulant, the pan-African payments startup valued at $133 million in 2022, has named new executives three months after the CEO and four other senior managers left the company. 

While Peter O’Toole, the company’s former CFO, remains acting CEO, Andy O’Sullivan, who co-founded Innovate Payments, is Cellulant’s new CTO. He replaces George Murage, who has now moved to Pesalink.

Gbenga Haastrup is the new executive consultant for governance, risk, and compliance. Haastrup held executive leadership positions at UMBA, Interswitch, UBA and Standard Chartered Bank.

Other appointments include Irene Koki as head of internal audit, Ochebhoya Ekpete (formerly of Interswitch and Stripe) as vice president of group finance, and Susan Fouche as the Group chief people officer. 

After consolidating some roles and creating new ones, the company disclosed that the new hires would be crucial for its business, which serves 13 African markets.

O’Toole says Cellulant’s “main goal is to become a highly sustainable and profitable payments company, known for its operational excellence across our three core areas: checkout, payout, and banking solutions.”

In 2024, Cellulant plans to prioritise these three business areas to align with its “ongoing investment in product development, service delivery, streamlining operations, and managing risk,” according to a statement seen by TechCabal.

These leadership changes follow a difficult year for Cellulant in 2023, which saw the company go through three rounds of redundancies. “We made strategic operational adjustments to improve efficiency and support our ambitious growth plans,” Cellulant told TechCabal in January 2024.

Cellulant had appointed Grover to lead a $100 million Series D funding round, which ultimately didn’t materialise. Despite raising $54.4 million over three rounds, Cellulant says it is still talking to investors but does not plan to raise additional funds in 2024.

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