Tag: CEOs

SA to tackle excessive executive pay

By Rene Vollgraaff for Bloomberg

South Africa is finalising legislative changes that aim at narrowing the earnings gap between company executives and the lowest-paid workers, according to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel.

“A further amendment to company law is required to tackle the gross injustice of excessive pay,” Patel told lawmakers in his department’s budget vote speech on Tuesday. “A new bill that will be finalised within 60 days will require disclosure of wage differentials in companies, stronger governance on excessive director pay and enhanced transparency on ownership and financial records.”

South Africa is one of the world’s most unequal nations, a legacy of the Apartheid system that ended in 1994. Chief executives and top lawyers can make in excess of R20-million a year, while the official minimum wage is just over R20 an hour.

CEO bloodbath in South Africa

Source: MyBroadband

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have put tremendous pressure on companies, with tough trading conditions and dwindling revenues.

Many industries were prevented from operating or were only allowed limited operations, during alert level 4 and 5 of the lockdown.

In an attempt to stave off retrenchment, many companies introduced salary cuts and short time, but in some cases, it was not enough.

The tough trading conditions, combined with political and economic uncertainty, took their toll on executives.

Since the lockdown started in March, many South African CEOs have announced their resignations.

While many of the resignations are directly linked to the lockdown, others most likely considered it previously and saw the lockdown as an opportune time to step down.

Here is a list of prominent chief executives who have announced their resignations in recent months:

Webafrica CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning
Wyatt-Gunning stepped down on 1 July 2020 and was replaced by Sean Nourse, who has served as MWEB CEO for the past three years. Wyatt-Gunning has been Webafrica CEO since October 2011, and said it was the right time to find a successor with fresh ideas.

Liquid Telecom South Africa CEO Reshaad Sha
In June, Reshaad Sha announced that he had resigned as Liquid Telecom South Africa CEO to head up a new artificial intelligence venture.
Sha was appointed as the CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa on 1 June 2018, where he was responsible for the company’s successful turnaround plan.

Net1 CEO Herman Kotze
In August, Net1 announced that its CEO and director Herman Kotze would step down at the end of September.
Kotze has been at Net1 for over two decades and will consult with the company to ensure a smooth transition.

Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren
Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren resigned on 31 May 2020 following a restructuring of the company.
Janse van Vuuren has been at the company for 12 years and resigned to pursue new interests.

Uber Sub-Saharan Africa GM Alon Lits
Uber Sub-Saharan Africa GM and director Alon Lits announced in July that he is leaving the company after seven years.
Lits was part of Uber’s first venture into Africa in Johannesburg in 2013 and rapidly expanded Uber across 15 other cities in Sub Saharan Africa.

MTN CEO Rob Shuter
In March, MTN announced that its group president and CEO Rob Shuter will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract.
In August, MTN said Ralph Mupita has been appointed as president and CEO of MTN Group effective from 1 September 2020, with incumbent CEO Rob Shuter set to step down on 31 August.

Denel CEO Danie du Toit
In July, Denel announced that CEO Danie du Toit will step down on 15 August 2020. It did not give reasons for du Toit’s departure.
Denel, which manufactures aerospace and military hardware, has been struggling financially and had difficulties paying salaries.

Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder
Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder announced in July that he had resigned after working at the company for 38 years. He served as Spur CEO since 1996.
One month later, the restaurant chain announced that its COO, Mark Farrelly, has resigned with effect from the end of August.

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky announced that he would step down for personal reasons on 1 September 2020.
Dushnisky, who is currently with his family in Toronto, said he is available to assist with a smooth handover until February 2021.

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland
Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland announced he will be stepping down in 2021 after leading the company for 13 years.
The company’s Cheryl Carolus said a global search for a suitable replacement will commence soon.

Delta Property Fund CEO Sandile Nomvete
Property Delta CEO Sandile Nomvete and CFO Shaneel Maharaj resigned with immediate effect on 24 August 2020.
The company’s chief operating officer and chief investment officer, Otis Tshabalala, also resigned.

Metair CEO Theo Loock
In May, Metair CEO Theo Loock announced he has decided to take early retirement and will step down on 31 December 2020.
Loock will also step down as chairperson and non-executive director of all Metair subsidiaries and associated companies.

By Gaby Del Valle for Vox 

Fall is, without a doubt, the best time to buy office supplies. Yes, office supplies are sold year-round, but fall’s back-to-school vibe spares no one, even those of us who haven’t been in school for years. Fall is when the planners come out to play.

For me, this is the happiest time of the year. I love buying useless little journals and covering my desk with piles of colorful sticky notes. Fall and its corresponding school-and-office-supply bonanzas are a sign of a fresh start: I love telling myself that these journals and sticky notes will make me more organized and therefore more productive and therefore better at my job and therefore happier. Is it true? Not exactly. Does it matter? Not at all.

There’s just one small problem: so many of the office supplies that are marketed toward women are incredibly condescending.

Allow me to give you a few examples. There’s this day planner, which reminds you that ”every day is a fresh start” in the bouncy, stylized cursive script that The Goods’ Eliza Brooke dubbed “bridesmaid font.” The hundreds of notebooks that have “She believed she could, so she did” written across the cover, often in that same font. This Kate Spade “planner companion set,” which you can use to fill your affirmation-emblazoned notebook with stickers that say “the world was hers for the reading.” (You are the “her” in this situation. The world is yours, baby!)

This pencil pouch, which lets everyone know that you are “very busy.” (We are all very busy, because capitalism stops for no one.) These pencils, which would like to remind you that “you got this.” Or these pencils, which announce to the world that you are not only a “boss lady” but also a “goal digger.” Or any of these boss lady name plaques.

These products are a far cry from the boring legal pads and other cubicle accoutrements of yore. They’re kind of fun and seemingly innocuous — after all, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a notebook that dares to be anything other than black or navy blue.

The point of these various fancy desk accessories isn’t just to help you get your work done. It’s to help you get your work done while reminding everyone that you are a woman who works, just in case the labor you do on a daily basis isn’t enough of a reminder.

The issue isn’t that some office supplies are marketed toward women, but that there don’t seem to be any equivalent products for men. Of course, men already have structural power; they don’t need a notebook to remind them that they’re capable of achieving their professional goals.

These products are the logical extension of the genre of professional self-help books that seem to exist solely to tell women that if they stop apologizing in emails and learn to “power pose,” they, too will ascend to the ranks of the She-E-Os.

The point of these books is to blame women for their own professional shortcomings, or at the very least, to rationalize why women are paid less money and taken less seriously than their male co-workers. The accompanying office supplies are meant to give women a way to rectify those perceived shortcomings — for a price, of course.

It’s not enough to be inundated with this advice day in and day out; you have to carry it with you constantly, in your head and on your notebook.

Even if life is easier for working women than it was a few decades ago, the fact remains that most workplaces weren’t designed with women’s needs in mind.

A 2017 report by Lean In and McKinsey, which surveyed more than 70,000 employees at 222 companies, found that corporations hire women at lower rates than men at all levels. Once they are hired, entry-level women are 18 percent less likely to be promoted than their male colleagues, which contributes to the oft-cited pay gap between men and women. They also receive less face time with managers and other senior-level staff and are given less advice on how to advance. All of these issues are compounded for women of color in general and for black women in particular, the report found.

Across industries, men are generally paid more than women, and women of color are paid less than both white men and white women. A 2017 report by the National Women’s Law Center found that black women who work full time, year-round are paid 63 cents for every dollar white men make. That figure is 57 cents for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women, 54 cents for Latinas, and 87 percent for Asian women, though there’s also a wage gap between different groups of Asian women.

That’s just at the corporate level. A 2018 report by Fast Company found that women who freelance tend to receive lower rates than their male peers, and they’re less likely to receive payments on time. Minimum wage workers, most of whom are women, are rarely granted the same amount of paid leave as those who work at the corporate level. Women at all levels also experience sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting said harassment, which can have detrimental effects on not only their job performance and earnings but also their mental health.

Given these difficulties, it seems trivial to get annoyed about a planner that encourages me to treat every day as a gift or whatever. Honestly, buy whatever maniacally happy shit gets you through the day; the last thing any woman needs is yet another “don’t” on an endlessly long list of things they shouldn’t do at work.

But what infuriates me about these professional products geared toward women is that they seem to occupy a realm where structural issues are only alluded to through inspirational quotes about overcoming adversity and being a #girlboss. The world of women’s office supplies is pastel-colored and impossibly peppy. (I’m fine with the pastels, but I don’t love the pep.) This is a world where, given the right combination of planners and pencils, anything is possible. It is a world laden with positive affirmations, because reality is so bleak. It’s a world where she believes she can, so she does.

Then again, I doubt a planner that says “That ignoramus who sits next to you is going to get a promotion before you do because he’s a dude” would be a best-seller.

CEOs need social media

Everyone today is on social media, but there is one group that is sorely under-represented: CEOs.

“We frequently get asked by our CEO clients how they should use social media,” says Sylvia Schutte, MD of Stratitude. “So it’s not that they undervalue the importance of it, they just aren’t sure how to use it to their advantage.”

Numerous studies have shown that when a CEO uses social media positively, it has a positive impact on the reputation of their company, attracts talent to the business and even impacts the bottom line with an increase in sales. CEOs who are active on social media also become more relatable and connect more with their employees, peers and customers.

“One of the biggest excuses we get from senior executives is that they simply don’t have the time to be active on social media,” says Schutte.

To keep pages fresh and to prevent connections from getting bored, Schutte recommends that opinion pieces are posted onto the company blog and then shared on personal pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, CEOs should share online articles and information that they find interesting, and then include their opinion on the issue.

“Privacy is another big concern,” continues Schutte. “People do business with people they know, like and trust, which is why we recommend setting your LinkedIn profile to be open to the public, rather than keeping it private. If people are looking for you on LinkedIn it’s because they want to find out as much information as possible, to see if they can trust your company and engage in business with you.”

The more information you provide about your professional background, who you are, and what you stand for, the stronger your credentials will be and the more trustworthy you will come across to potential clients, employees, suppliers, stakeholders and business partners.

“It’s essential that you pay attention to the language you use, which means you don’t craft every tweet or post as an MBA graduate. To come across as relatable you need to use conversational, everyday language. The key is also to make it personal, so feel free to share things like places you enjoy visiting, books you recommend reading, or ideas that excite you,” explains Schutte. “These things might not be related to you as a professional, but they say a lot about who you are and they help you connect with clients, prospects and colleagues in a more authentic, human way.”

When it comes to maintaining a social media presence, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. It’s not uncommon to have a team assisting a leader to keep their social media feeds populated. However, to get this right you first have to understand the objectives and brand that the leader wants to portray.

“Posts should be real and honest,” says Schutte. “We work with leaders to define their personal brand and what they want to project on social media. We then craft content that’s in line with their thinking and personality, but ultimately they should be the ones that are in tune with their social media accounts, respond when talked to and pass along content shared by others.”

In an increasingly social business world, it’s clear that CEOs should do more than just be on social media – they should lead the pack.

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