Today's Labour News

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AbsaBL Premium reports that Absa is going to be without a permanent CEO until 2020, notwithstanding that it has mapped out an ambitious growth strategy.  

René van Wyk has been running the show in a temporary capacity since March, potentially limiting his ability to push through long-term strategic changes to defend market share.  Absa was on track to announce a permanent replacement for former CEO Maria Ramos just before its half-year earnings report in August, but chair Wendy Lucas-Bull said at a shareholder meeting that the new CEO would start work only in early 2020.  "Everybody that you are looking at in this market has significant lock-ins in terms of commitments, and then they’ve got cool-off periods that are imposed by the Reserve Bank," Lucas-Bull explained.  She added that the bank was looking at a "very small" pool of individuals as potential CEO.  The fact that Absa did not have a new CEO in the pipeline and had to appoint an interim CEO, while going through a major organisational and brand change, exposed the cracks in the organisation’s succession planning.  But Lucas-Bull said this was because Absa had many balls to juggle, such as the separation from Barclays and rebranding to Absa, and it did not want to divert attention from getting these things done by announcing Ramos’s pending retirement.

  • Read the full original of Londiwe Buthelezi’s report on this story at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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