Irene Charnley was born on the 6th of May, 1960 and hails from South Africa. She is the chief executive officer of Smile Telecom Holdings- a company that offers a range of broadband solutions.

She achieved a full listing of MTN Holdings through M-Cell Limited and played a leading role in its transformation into one of the pre-eminent black-empowered companies on the JSE.

She has a certificate in Graphic Art, Reproduction and Technology from College of London of Printing, England. Irenne also bagged a certificate in Industrial Relations from University of the Witwatersrand.

She is a member of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management and National Retirement Coordinating Committee.

Ms. Irene is also an Institute of Retirement Funds councilor and a member of the Pensions Advisory Board. The board advises South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on policy issues.

Charnley serves as Chairperson of Orbicom, MTN Network Solutions, Mobile Telephone Networks Holdings, Airborn and Member of the King Committee on Corporate. She is also a social entrepreneur and a non-executive Director of MTN (one of Africa's leading telecommunications players) & FirstRand Bank. Charnley is also a Director at Johnnic communications.

In August 2000, she was elected Businesswoman of the Year in recognition of her entrepreneurship and outstanding contribution. She played a major role in the success and transformation of Johnnic from an industrial conglomerate to a focused media, entertainment and telecommunications group.

Charnley was awarded Business Woman of the year in 2000 and nominated as one of the top 50 businesswomen outside of the USA by Fortune Magazine.

Her Work:

Irene Charnley spent 13 years with the National Union of Mineworkers and played a strategic role in heading up the services pillar, coordinating the legal, housing, research and social security divisions in South Africa.

She was the Commercial Director at the MTN Group, responsible for the company’s strategic investments and international expansion activities. Irene also serves as a Director on a number of company boards, a member of the King Committee on Corporate Governance and is an International Marketing Council Board Member.

Charnley served as an Executive Director of ElementOne Limited since February 1997 and served as Director of Johnnic Holdings Limited from November 1996 to September 2003.

Ms Irene served as a Director of Metropolitan Holdings, formerly New Africa Capital Group Ltd from 2001 to December 2004.

In 2007, Irene Charnley  steped down as an executive director of MTN but remained a member of one of the richest boards of directors in South Africa. She served as Chairperson of South African Broadcasting Corporation since July 2009.

Why Tech Her Loves Her:

She is hardworking, determined and has crafted a niche in the tech-space globally. We use this as another opportunity to encourage other women not to see gender as a limitation to achieving and impacting their society rather as a yardstick to strive to be the best at whatever they are doing.


annethAbout Her:

Annette Muller is a digital consultant by profession. She obtained a certificate in Digital Change Management from the renowned Hyper Island Digital Master Class New York in 2011. She graduated from the University of Cape Town, South-Africa with a B.Sc. in Business science, Financing and Marketing in 2007. She also has a certificate in Spanish from Universidad de Salamanca. She was profiled as one of the 10 female technology entrepreneurs to watch in Africa by Forbes magazine.

Her Work:

Annette Muller has worked at several institutions in the course of her very successful career. In 2008, she worked as an Intern with Quicktell. She was exposed to online marketing, updating website content and copywriting using Joomla and CMS.

Still in 2008, Annette was the Account Executive at ikineo. She worked on NOKNOK; a social network created by MTN back in the day.

From January 2009 to April 2009, she worked at Glaceau as their digital and social networker for the Country Launch.

Between September 2010 - March 2011, Annette worked with the Digital Business Manager of Nasper Group where she assisted with the setup of all social media initiatives, moving journalists onto twitter and integrating social media into the existing web and media platforms.

from August 2009 – August 2010, as the Lead Innovator at MiWorld, Annette implemented strategies and concept as well as full digital experience planning bridging the online/offline client experience with the launch of the popular new MiBAR. In this capacity, she was responsible for concept development, digital experience, planning and management of all technology developments including web, mobile and touch screen tables & screens, back-end development and all integration.

In March 2011, she founded DOTNXT in Johannesburg, South- Africa. DOTNXT is a strategic innovation management firm in Cape Town that was established to bridge the gap between strategy (consulting) and delivery (project management) on a range of digital, mobile, social and next-generation branding projects. It empowers businesses to embrace the real-time digital dynamic cultures of today and new technologies, propelling them forward to the forefront of success.

Why TechHer Loves Her:

She saw a gap in companies between strategy and execution and decided to offer more hands-on strategic programme management. She lives her mantra which is “if you are the smartest person in the room you are in the wrong room!"

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