Denel has appointed William Hlakoane as the acting Group Chief Executive Officer, effective from Monday.

ON Monday, embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel reported, via the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s SENS news service, that it had suffered a string of resignations from its board of directors. Kabelo Lehloenya had resigned effective January 14, General (retired) Siphiwe Nyanda had resigned effective January 21, Dr Sibusiso Sibisi had followed suit effective from February 16 and Sue Rabkin had done the same effective from February 18. 

The company also announced that the acting Group CEO contract of Talib Sadik had expired. Sadik had, at the same time, also resigned from the Denel board, taking the number of board resignations to five in just over a month.

Sadik had been full time CEO of Denel from 2008 to 2012. Nyanda served as Chief of the South African National Defence Force from 1998 to 2005, and was subsequently Minister of Communications from 2009 to 2010. Rabkin was a former special adviser to the Minister of Defence. Sibisi was CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research from 2008 to 2017, and headed the University of the Witwatersrand’s Business School from the start of 2018 to the end of 2019.

Lehloenya had been the CFO of the Gauteng Department of Health – she resigned from that post in May last year and was subsequently entangled in the Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption scandal that rocked the department. She has asserted her innocence.

The Denel board has nominated current Denel Group COO, William Hlakoane, as the new interim Group CEO, with a six-month contract. His contract was effective from Monday. Hlakoane is a mechanical engineer and holds an MBA degree, from the Milpark Business School. 

In the SENS statement, Denel board chairperson Monhla Hlahla thanked Sadik for his service to the company. She further assured the group’s employees, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders that “the board is dealing with the difficult financial challenges –  the focus remains on turning around the business towards sustainable growth and profitability”. 

The group was busy with a process to recruit a new permanent CEO. “(T)he appointment will be communicated to all stakeholders in due course.”

(Source: Engineering News)

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