Jacobus Petrus « Koos » Bekker (born 14 December 1952) is a South African billionaire businessman, and the chairman of media group Naspers. The company operates in 130 countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It has the largest market capitalization of any media company outside the US, China and India. As of April 2022, his net worth was estimated at US$2.3 billion.
Koos Bekker was born in Potchefstroom, South Africa in 1952. He attended Hoër Volkskool Heidelberg and completed degrees at Stellenbosch University, in law and literature, and at Wits University, in law. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, New York and an honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University.
Bekker is married to Karen Roos and has two children.
After a few years in advertising, he received an MBA degree from Columbia Business School, graduating in 1984. As a result of a project paper, he, with a few young colleagues, founded one of the first two pay-television services outside of the US. M-Net and its sister companies, such as Multichoice, eventually expanded to 48 countries across Africa. In the 1990s, he was a founding director of mobile communication company MTN. In 1997 Bekker became CEO of Naspers, one of the initial investors in the M-Net/Multichoice group. Naspers bought out the other shareholders. During his tenure, the market capitalization of Naspers grew from about $1.2 billion to $45 billion. His compensation package was unusual in that for fifteen years as CEO he earned no salary, bonus or perks. He was compensated solely via stock option grants that vested over time.
The Forbes 2019 list of The World’s Billionaires ranked Bekker as the 1002nd-wealthiest person in the world, and the fourth-wealthiest South African, with a fortune of US$2.3 billion. In 2020, Bekker was ranked as the third-wealthiest South African by Forbes, with a fortune reported as US$2.4billion.