Naspers' stable of products as seen on this plinth outside their Johannesburg offices at Media Park.

JOHANNESBURG - South African e-commerce and media firm Naspers Ltd said on Saturday Chief Executive Koos Bekker would step down in April after 17 years of explosive growth that transformed a small publisher into an emerging markets giant.

Bekker will be replaced by e-commerce chief Bob van Dijk, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement. After a year off, Bekker will return in April 2015 as chairman, Naspers said.

He will remain on the board of Chinese Internet firm Tencent Holdings, which is more than 30 percent owned by Naspers.