JOHANNESBURG — Sechaba Motsieloa is departing his role as McDonald's South Africa's corporate affairs director to become CEO of the country's biggest PR firm, Magna Carta.

Motsieloa (pictured), who joins the TBWA-owned firm in September, replaces Vincent Magwenya, who steps down after almost four years as Magna Carta CEO. Motsieloa arrives at Magna Carta after spending 12 years with McDonald's, taking on the top corporate affairs job in 2012.

In total, Magwenya spent more than seven years with Magna Carta across two stints, in between which he worked as spokesperson to the South African President, followed by a stint leading communications at key Magna Carta client Standard Bank.

Under Magwenya, Magna Carta was named African PR Consultancy of the Year twice by the Holmes Report, most recently this year. The firm's pan-African network has grown to 19 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Angola, Mozambique and  Zimbabwe, and it underwent a significant restructuring in 2014 to help restore growth.

Magwenya told the Holmes Report he is launching his own consultancy called Conversation, Media & Communications, focused on small businesses and startups. There are several initiatives underway to encourage entrepreneurship in South Africa, but Magwenya noted that large agencies are often not structured to handle business of this type. Accordingly, he said his new firm will be "based less on fees and more on a partnership model."

In addition, he noted that the firm will be geared towards complying with the country’s black economic empowerment laws, and is also currently in talks with global agencies regarding an international affiliation.

"I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at TBWA to thank Vincent for the massive contribution that he has made to the network, the group and the company," said TBWA group CEO Derek Bouwer.

Prior to McDonald's, Motsieloa began his career at SAB in 1997. Speaking at the Holmes Report's African In2Summit earlier this year, he called on communicators to improve their understanding of "the business of the business", in order to demonstrate that better stakeholder relationships can help an organization achieve its strategic objectives.

"You have to be able to communicate what the perception of the organization by employees looks like, or what the community perception is," said Motsieloa at the conference.