Unbelievable: Low-paying first jobs of top CEO’s

Unbelievable: Low-paying first jobs of top CEO’s

If you’ve recently graduated and have started a job that pays a less-than-ideal salary package; or the actual job is not making you feel a bit motivated then this article is just the thing that you need to lift your spirits! I think the most inspirational one is Vox Telecom CEO, Jacques du Toit’s humble beginnings! WOW!

Africa Jobs_Low-paying first jobs of top CEOs_Fowzia Gamiet1

Below is a list of top CEO’s who had very humble beginnings! They started at the bottom, some even working long before high school. They worked hard in undesirable jobs, slowly working their way up the ladder to be able to get to where they are today!

Today, they run successful companies, manage a staff compliment of exceptionally skilled individuals, and earn luxurious salary packages that allow them to travel the world!

Vodacom CEO

Shameel Joosub

First Job: Selling samoosas and earrings

Salary: 20c each

He continued with this when he went to school, and was running a small business by the age of 7. At age 12, he was running an uncle’s bottling factory during the school holidays.

These ventures helped Joosub to become one of the top telecoms CEOs in South Africa.

Business Connexion CEO

Isaac Mophatlane

First Job: Worked on the family cattle farm

Salary: R25 a day

Isaac Mophatlane has a twin his brother Benjamin, with whom he co-founded the former Business Connection, a computer reseller focused on government and parastatals. Business Connection subsequently merged with Seattle Solutions in 2001. In 2004, the company merged with Comparex Africa.

Derek Hershaw


Name: Derek Hershaw

First Job: Management trainee. At the time his department only had one PC which everyone shared.

Salary: R1,200 per month

Vox Telecom CEO

Jacques du Toit

First Job: Security guard

Salary: R1,600 per month

When working as a security guard, he learnt the value of respect  for others, as many people do not have any respect for security guards. Unknown to others, whilst working as a security guard Jacques was busy completing his bachelors degree.


Afrihost CEO

Gian Visser

First Job: Dropping off pamphlets and feeding neighbours pets while on holiday

Salary: R40 per day

His first professional job was to run Afrihost – the company he started, for which he received no sal