Wilderness Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer and Wilderness Board member, Willias Zihove plays a vital role in ensuring the best performance and efficiency of the Group’s Corporate and Regional Finance Teams across all areas of its operation.
Willias joined Wilderness in 2006 as Finance Manager, based in Lusaka, Zambia, where he was responsible for building a functioning Finance team from scratch. He was soon promoted to Regional Financial Officer for the Zambezi Region, and later to Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Group in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
Born in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe, Willias completed his primary and secondary education there before graduating with a Bachelor of Accountancy (Honours) degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 1999.
Willias joined Delta Beverages in Harare (then known as United Bottlers) as a graduate trainee, eventually becoming Financial Controller. He subsequently joined FEIC (Pvt) Ltd, an investment company with interests in a Kyocera dealership and publishing, as Finance Manager in 2003.
At his Wilderness interview in June 2006 in Victoria Falls, the confidence and passion then-Regional MD Keith Vincent showed in the Wilderness business model intrigued Willias. “Coming from bottling and selling Cokes, and servicing photocopiers, I knew I had a lot to learn!” Willias said.
Some of his career highlights include being part of the team that steered the growth of the Zimbabwe regional business, and witnessing succession plans coming to fruition, events he remains grateful for to this day.
Having been an integral part of Wilderness for over 15 years, Willias is responsible for supporting the company’s growth strategy and improving efficiencies, while making a positive impact at the same time.
The Group acknowledged Willias’s contribution by appointing him to the Wilderness Board in 2023. “I am excited because it is an honour to be entrusted with such responsibility at a time when the Group is undergoing significant changes, such as the diversification of geographical risk, development of the B2C channel and the building of a global brand. This is also another opportunity to learn, and ‘live’ our values. I am proud to be part of a pioneering collective who positively impacts our wilderness and surrounding communities”, he concluded.