Tag: CEO

Altron CEO Mteto Nyati resigns

By Philippa Larkin for IOL

JSE-listed technology company Altron yesterday said chief executive Mteto Nyati would step down from his role, effective 30 June.

Altron said its Nomination Committee had started the process to identify and appoint a successor.

“This decision was informed by Nyati’s impending completion of a five-year term with the Altron Group, his successful contribution to increasing shareholder value by approximately six times during his tenure, and his search for a new challenge,” the company said.

Nyati, who led Altron’s transition from a family-controlled and managed business to an independent corporate entity, contributed significantly to the achievement of several strategic initiatives at Altron. These included establishing and growing a core ICT portfolio and transforming Altron from a diversified technology group into a trusted information technology services company.

Alton said he was instrumental in finalising a number of bolt-on acquisitions during his tenure including EZY2C in Australia, Phoenix Software in the UK and Karabina, Ubusha and LAWtrust in South Africa.

Following the successful demerger, unbundling and separate listing of Bytes Technology Group during 2020, the businesses now had a combined market capitalisation in excess of R30-billion.

The Altron board extended its sincere gratitude to Nyati for his “visionary and inspirational leadership, and his contribution to Altron and its shareholders”.

CEOs positive about SA’s future

By Banele Ginindza for IOL

The CEOs of the world’s largest businesses are increasingly optimistic about the outlook despite the Covid-19 Delta variant slowing down a ‘return to normal’ – their confidence in both the global and local economy has returned to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic.

According to KPMG South Africa’s 2021 CEO Outlook, in partnership with Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), 88 percent of local leaders said they expect aggressive growth, and were looking to make acquisitions in the next three years to facilitate this and transform their businesses.

The 2021 Global survey draws on the perspectives of 50 CEOs across 10 industries, and their perspective is closely aligned to the global average of 87 percent. The survey included leaders from 11 key markets (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and the US) and 11 key industry sectors (asset management, automotive, banking, consumer and retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, technology and telecommunications).

As South Africa’s economy is forecast for a modest 2 percent growth in 2022 with the prospect of a stronger global economy, CEOs are looking to invest in expansion and business transformation.

The survey reveals that 62 percent of senior executives are identifying inorganic methods including joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances as their organisation’s main strategy to support their growth.

“Despite the risks, there is a clear road to renewal theme emerging this year and no doubt, South African CEOs are both optimistic about growth and are placing a specific emphasis on leading with purpose and digitally transforming their businesses while upskilling an agile workforce,” said Ignatius Sehoole, CEO of KPMG South Africa.

More than half of the CEOs surveyed indicated that organisational purpose will have a profound impact on business – driving performance, shareholder returns and strengthening employee engagement.

“However, while we drive growth, we also face a tough task – leading companies in a time of continued uncertainty where markets and forecasts are dynamic in nature. The main threats to business identified in the survey not surprisingly then, include supply chain, operational concerns and cyber security; followed by climate change, regulatory and emerging or disruptive technology risks,” said BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso.

Some CEOs were embracing the need to push the boundaries of their businesses with quicker shifts in digital transformation strategies and investments a priority.

About 74 percent indicated that technological disruption was more of an opportunity than a threat.

The report said not only were 58 percent well prepared for future cyber-attacks but 54 percent were shifting towards a cloud-first mindset, and aiming to partner with a third-party cloud technology partner in the next three years.

It said similarly, 70 percent were placing more capital investment into buying new technologies.

He said 58 percent of CEOs believe that the top success factor in ensuring that employees were engaged, motivated and productive in the hybrid work model, was investing in digital training, development and upskilling them.

The report said stakeholder expectations of businesses had risen where the actions of organisations and their leaders were under increasing scrutiny, with pressure to demonstrate trust, transparency and purpose.

This means that while employee-first commitment emerges, CEOs were also looking to embed environmental, social and governance (ESG) more strongly into their strategies.

“80 percent recognise that large corporations have the resources to help governments find solutions to pressing global challenges and this becomes a business-critical consideration,” Sehoole said.

Results indicate that 30 percent were planning to invest 10 percent or more of their revenue into the E of ESG, but 68 percent indicated government stimulus was required to turbocharge climate investments made by the business community.

 

Takealot appoints new CEO

Source: News24

Mamongae Mahlare has been appointed as the new CEO of the Takealot Group, replacing founder Kim Reid, who stepped down in February to become chairperson of the group.

Mahlare will be CEO from October. She joins the Takealot Group from Illovo Sugar SA, where she was managing director.

She previously worked at SABMiller, Unilever and Coca-Cola. According to a statement by Takealot, she has experience in a number of fields, including operations, strategy, innovation, engineering, and branding.

“We have searched far and wide to find a leader who has the experience, skills and ambition to write the next chapter for the Takealot Group. I’m excited for this next phase and, as chairman, I am very much looking forward to partnering with Mamongae to continue to grow the business,” said Reid.

“We’re delighted that Mamongae is joining the group at such a pivotal time for Takealot. The business is in great shape and ready for its next phase of growth under a strong leadership team,” said Bob van Dijk, Group CEO for Prosus and Naspers, which owns Takealot.

The Takealot Group owns online retailers Takealot.com and Superbalist.com, as well as delivery service Mr D Food.

“The opportunity to lead a technology-centric, innovative, South African champion that has created thousands of jobs and enabled so many SMMEs over the past ten years is both exciting and humbling,” said Mahlare.

Tessa Ackermann has been appointed as the group’s chief financial officer. Other appointments include Alex Wörz, who has been appointed CEO of Mr D Food, Rayhaan Samsodien, who is the new CFO of Mr D Food, Octavius Vermooten as the new CFO of Takealot.com and Jurgen Hanekom, the new CFO for Superbalist.com.

“Seeing all the new appointments coming from within the group excites me as it points to the fact that the business creates opportunities for people to grow and progress,” said Mahlare.

Absa CEO resigns after less than 18 months

By Dieketseng Maleke for IOL

Banking group Absa’s chief executive is set to step down after just 16 months in the position. The bank subsequently confirmed the news in a SENS announcement.

On Tuesday, BDLive reported that Daniel Mminele was leaving due to differences with executives over the strategic direction of the country’s third-biggest banking group by assets.

According to the publication, people who were familiar with the matter said: “Mminele and Absa had agreed to part ways due to differences with some members of his executive team over changes to the bank’s strategy, which was largely in place when he joined.

“Subsequent discussions with the board failed to resolve the issues leading to the eventual decision to part ways, the people said.”

Attempts to reach Absa for comment were unsuccessful.

 

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO

Source: EWN

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced that he will stand aside later this year as chief executive of the company he built from a startup into one of the world’s most valuable firms.

The world’s richest person based on his Amazon stake, Bezos said he will transition to the role of executive chair in the third quarter, handing over the CEO role to Andy Jassy, who heads Amazon Web Services.

The news came as Amazon reported a blowout holiday quarter with profits more than doubling to $7.2 billion and revenue jumping 44 percent to $125.6 billion – as pandemic lockdowns caused online sales to explode around the globe.

In a letter to Amazon employees, Bezos said he would “stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives” but would pivot towards philanthropic initiatives, including his Day One Fund and Bezos Earth Fund, and other business ventures in space exploration and journalism.

“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring,” Bezos wrote.

“I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organisations can have.”

Bezos, 57, founded Amazon in his garage in 1994 and went on to grow it into a colossus that dominates online retail, with operations in streaming music and television, groceries, cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and more.

His other businesses include The Washington Post newspaper and the private space firm Blue Origin.

His successor Jassy joined Amazon as a marketing manager in 1997 and in 2003 founded AWS, the cloud services division of the company which has been one of the most profitable but least-known units of the tech giant.

“He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence,” Bezos said of Jassy.

“Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition,” he said.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives saw giving command of Amazon to Jassy as a “major step up in the clouds arms race with crosstown rival Microsoft.”

Vast expansion

Bezos’s tenure at Amazon has been marked by a vast expansion globally and surges in profitability.

The company is based in Seattle, Washington, and is developing a second headquarters outside the US capital.

Amazon’s market value was some $1.69 trillion as of Tuesday, a tenfold increase from a decade ago, making it one of the world’s most valuable.

Bezos’s stake gives him a personal fortune worth an estimated $196 billion, slightly more than Tesla chief Elon Musk who had briefly captured the title of world’s wealthiest person.

Amazon has led other businesses by guaranteeing a minimum $15 per hour wage and has invested billions in COVID-19 mitigation – but it continues to face criticism over workplace conditions at its warehouse operations.

“The company Jeff Bezos started nearly three decades ago is under a cloud of scrutiny,” said Maurice BP-Weeks of activist group coalition Athena.

“Workers are speaking up, walking out, and organizing against miserable working conditions … Small businesses are banding together to challenge Amazon’s anti-competitive practices.”

The company employs more than one million people worldwide including 800,000 in the United States.

The transition comes with Amazon and other large tech firms under heightened scrutiny from antitrust enforcers in the United States and elsewhere for their dominance of key economic sectors, which has become even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Amazon has become the leading force in online commerce, Bezos has brushed aside criticism over its dominance of the sector.

He told a congressional hearing last year that Amazon accounts for less than four percent of retail spending in the United States and has a “range of retail competitors.”

The latest quarterly results showed growth across all business segments including its cloud computing as Amazon has expanded its streaming media offerings and grocery operations.

Neil Saunders of the research firm GlobalData said Amazon has boosted sales during the pandemic “off the back of its superior logistics network,” but also faces growing competition.

“We maintain our view that Amazon will emerge from the pandemic as a bigger and stronger business,” Saunders said.

“We welcome the leadership change, if only because it will allow Jeff Bezos to focus more on innovation and new ideas.”

 

MTN CEO Rob Shuter to step down

By Gugu Lourie for Tech Financials

Rob Shuter, MTN Group CEO, will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract in March 2021, the mobile phone operator announced on Wednesday.

“The board thanks Rob for the contribution he has made and, continues to make, to MTN. The succession process will be concluded during the year, enabling a seamless handover,” the company said in a statement.

MTN group chief technology and IT officer Charles Molapisi has been appointed to the group executive committee and the fixed contract of the group chief operations officer, Jens Schulte-Bockum, has been extended until 31 March 2022.

Shuter joined MTN from Vodafone in 2016, to replace Sifiso Dabengwa.

He was the CEO of Vodafone’s European cluster.

Shuter is also a former CEO of Vodafone Netherlands and ex-Vodacom chief financial officer. He has extensive experience in telecoms and banking having held senior management roles at Vodacom Group, Standard Bank and Nedbank prior to joining Vodafone Group. For more read: MTN taps Rob Shuter as new CEO

“We will use 2020 to implement our succession process and ensure a seamless handover to the new group president and CEO whilst maintaining our operational execution,” said Shuter in a statement.

Nampak CEO to run Eskom

By Samkelo Mtshali for IOL

The appointment on Monday of Nampak Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter as the new Eskom CEO has been met with mixed reactions from the political sphere, with the Economic Freedom Fighters particularly displeased with his appointment at the power utility.

The embattled state entity has not had a permanent CEO since the resignation of Phakamani Hadebe in July, with board chairperson Jabu Mabuza acting in the role of CEO since Hadebe’s resignation mid year.

The EFF said that Ruyter’s appointment was anti-transformation and racist and that his appointment was part of a ‘racist project’ by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to undermine Africans.

“This racist project does not seek to undermine Africans as far as it concerns management of SOEs but as important role players in the economy. It seeks to reinforce the falsehood that Africans cannot manage strategic and complex institutions.

“The other false that must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves is the idea that Africans are inherently corrupt. Since his appointment as Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin has been removing African managers in SOEs in favour of non-African male, some even less qualified or less experienced compared to the removed African managers,” said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) general secretary Irvin Jim said that de Ruyter’s appointment did not do anything to aide transformation in the country and that the union regarded the appointment as “nothing less than a provocation”.

“This constitutes a setback when it comes to the transformation agenda in the country. This is an insult to blacks and Africans in this country that to date in this country since the democratic breakthrough we do not have competent black women and black Africans who can occupy such a position,” Jim said.

Democratic Alliance Chief Whip in Parliament Natasha Mazzone said that de Ruyter had a mammoth task ahead of him and said that he should use his experience to set Eskom on the right course to recover.

“De Ruyter has an unenviable task ahead of him and his priorities should include stabilising Eskom’s mammoth mountain of debt as well as ensuring a secure electricity grid for the nation.

“Of course, the only way we can truly achieve an efficient Eskom and an energy secure South Africa is when we break the utility’s monopoly over the energy sector as set out in the DA’s Cheaper Electricity Bill,” said Mazzone.

She added that de Ruyter should remain independent and beyond reproach in his capacity as Eskom CEO and that the DA would “keep a close eye on the developments at Eskom under his leadership” in the hope that he will always act in the best interest of Eskom and the public.

Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi, the IFP’s spokesperson on Public Enterprises, said that although de Ruyter will only officially begin his term on January 15 2020 he should “make very good use of the following month in order to familiarise himself with Eskom”.

“There is very little time to turn things around at the ailing parastatal, de Ruyter must hit the ground running,” Inkosi Buthelezi said.

Amongst some of the key issues that Inkosi Buthelezi said de Ruyter should focus on was building bridges with all stakeholders, decrease debt and reign in unpaid bills, renew or advertise contracts and strengthen supply chain management and tender procurement and financial controls.

Government unveils Eskom rescue plan

By Lameez Omarjee and Jan Cronje for Fin24

Eskom is aiming to have completed the unbundling of its generation, transmission and distribution operations by December 2022, according to a new policy roadmap published by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.

Here is what you need to know:

‘Cost-effective power’

Gordhan repeatedly returned to the point that South Africans deserve cost-effective electricity, which Eskom is not providing at the moment. The fact that tariffs have increased by 500% over the past decade – without an associated boost in generating capacity – has put the economy under strain, and is not sustainable.

Eskom must be restructured to survive

The plan to split Eskom into three parts – generation, transmission and distribution – is going ahead. Of the three, the transmission entity will be spun out first, around March 2020.

All three entities will remain functional subsidiaries of a larger Eskom holding company.

The minister said on Tuesday that monopolies were by their nature wasteful. A large part of the restructuring plan deals with increasing competition and competitiveness within the utility to eliminate waste and inefficiencies.

In the generation space, the plan proposes that Eskom retain its existing generation fleet and each power station concludes a power purchase agreement with the transmission entity. Eskom will also be permitted to build its own renewable energy generation.

There will not be much focus on unbundling the distribution arm in the near future, due to its complexity. Municipalities currently play a key part in selling on electricity to consumers at a markup. “There is a bit more study that we need to do,” he said.

UCT professor Anton Eberhard, a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s task team on Eskom, tweeted that the establishment of a separate electricity transmission company would be transformational by creating a transparent platform to buying competitively priced electricity.

Cost savings

Eskom has only been functioning in recent times due to lifelines from the state, as it does not make enough revenue from selling electricity to cover the cost of the interest on its debt. Treasury in February allocated Eskom R23bn each year for the next three years for a total of R69bn. The National Assembly, meanwhile, recently agreed to a special appropriation to grant Eskom R59bn over the next two years – over and above the allocated R69bn – to pay interest on debt.

To save costs, Eskom would be reviewing coal contracts, and government intends to meet with suppliers to review the cost structure, returns and fair price of coal.

Other measures include a review of employee benefits and alternatives to retrenchment, consequences for non-payment of electricity to recoup some of the R25bn it is owed by municipalities, talks with the energy regulator about pricing, and new procurement approach. The financial turnaround also includes a review of independent power producer contracts, and the disposal of non-core assets to raise cash.

State capture

The minister said that the damage caused by state capture was “huge” and “systemic”. Skilled people were “chased out” the company. All these factors had a negative impact on Eskom’s finances, he told journalists. He added that “‘trolls’ would claim that Eskom was to be privatised, but said this was ‘fake news'”.

Just transition

The plan acknowledges the need for a sustainable approach to be adopted for workers and communities impacted by the decommissioning of coal power stations. Alternative economic developments must be considered for affected communities and the state will be obligated to make sure affected communities can adapt to new opportunities. Gordhan said that labour unions and affected stakeholders are being engaged to understand the importance of changes to Eskom’s future structure.

New CEO

Eskom has been without a permanent CEO since May 2019, when Phakamani Hadebe announced his sudden resignation due to the ‘unimaginable demands’ impacting his health.

Despite speculation that he might, Gordhan did not announce a new chief executive, saying the utility’s new head would be announced next week. This would also be accompanied by board and management changes to account for Eskom’s changed structures.

“We have a bright future for Eskom. It still has a few clouds around it now,” Gordhan said.

WeWork forces founder forced to step down

Source: BBC

Adam Neumann led WeWork, the property firm he co-founded in 2010, to become a global juggernaut and a symbol for office cool.

The company has more than 500 locations in 29 countries and as recently as August, had viewed Mr Neumann as central to its fortunes.

But on Tuesday, WeWork announced that he would step down as chief executive and relinquish significant control over the company, after the firm’s plans to sell shares publicly ran into trouble.

It marks a startling fall from grace for the ambitious 40-year-old billionaire.

So what’s his story?

From kibbutz to co-working
Born in Israel, Mr Neumann served in the Israeli Navy before moving to New York to “get a great job, have tons of fun and make a lot of money”, as he put it in a 2017 TechCrunch interview.

He enrolled at Baruch College at the City University of New York in 2002, but dropped out just shy of graduation to go into business.

One of his early ventures was a baby clothing company that evolved into the luxury Egg Baby brand.

Later, he and business partner Miguel McKelvey, an architect, renovated an office space and sublet the property. They sold the business but the idea grew into WeWork.

In interviews, Mr Neumann – who finally got his degree in 2017 – has tied WeWork’s origin story to his own, linking his itinerant childhood and time spent living on a kibbutz to WeWork’s emphasis on communal working.

He told Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2017 he sometimes even refers to WeWork as “Kibbutz 2.0”.

Easy money
Mr Neumann’s colourful personality once charmed investors, including Japanese investment giant Softbank, a major backer of WeWork.

Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son reportedly worked out the terms of one of its investment rounds during a car ride, after a 12-minute tour of WeWork’s New York offices.

Softbank’s investments helped the company reach a peak valuation of about $47bn (£37.7bn) despite steep, ongoing losses – a mismatch that has drawn repeated questions.

Mr Neumann attempted to address that puzzle, telling Forbes in 2017: “Our valuation and size today are much more based on our energy and spirituality than it is on a multiple of revenue.”

Is WeWork really worth nearly $50bn?

Blurred lines
WeWork’s growth made Mr Neumann a billionaire, with an estimated net worth of $2.2bn, according to Forbes.

His glamorous personal life – his wife Rebekah is the cousin of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, while his sister Adi is a former model who was once a Miss Teen Israel – contributed to the buzz around the company.

But the mixing of work and pleasure – which had been a key element of WeWork’s culture – became a problem as the firm set out plans to go public.

Potential investors questioned the links between Mr Neumann’s personal finances and WeWork, as well as his decision to expand WeWork into areas of personal interest, such as surfing and a school.

They also raised questions about his judgment amid complaints about his hard-partying ways.

Magic fades
WeWork tried to respond to those concerns. Among other steps Mr Neumann returned $5.9m in stock he received for selling WeWork the trademark “We”.

But even the announcement on Tuesday that Mr Neumann would step aside and reduce his voting power failed to quell questions about WeWork’s long-term prospects.

Critics have long said WeWork was little more than a typical real estate company, and its shaky finances had been obscured by Mr Neumann’s personal style.

Source: IOL

Retail group Massmart said on Monday chief executive officer Guy Hayward would step down before year-end.

“After almost 20 years in the business, the past five of which have been as chief executive officer, Guy Hayward has informed the board of his decision to step down from his role before the end of 2019,” it said in a statement.

The exact timing of Hayward’s exit was still to be confirmed as he and the board embarked on the process of ensuring a seamless transition, Massmart said. The process to appoint his successor was underway and the board would make further announcements in due course.

It said Hayward had guided the company, which owns local brands such as Game, Makro, Builders Warehouse and CBW, through “exceedingly challenging market conditions” and had worked to position the business for future growth.

“Under his leadership we have seen the introduction of Value Added Services, the development of a shared group logistics service, and the implementation of competitive online offerings in Makro, Game and Builders Warehouse,” said the company.

“Massmart has an experienced executive management team, who along with Guy’s successor will continue to focus on the improvement of Massmart’s high-volume, low-expense business model that saves our customers money so that they can live better.”

Follow us on social media: 

               

View our magazine archives: 

                       


My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Top