AT LEAST five major South African companies and parastatals are searching for new chief executives, chairmen or non-executive directors.
AngloGold Ashanti needs a successor to Mark Cutifani, who is taking over from Cynthia Carroll as Anglo American CEO.
Chief financial officer Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan and executive vice-president of business and technical development, Tony O'Neill, are acting as joint CEOs.
SAA is still going through turbulence with an acting CEO, Vuyisile Kona, and an acting chairwoman, Duduzile Myeni, after September's sudden departure of seven board members and chairwoman Cheryl Carolus.
Telkom managed to plug some holes after the resignation of CEO Nombulelo "Pinky" Moholi. She leaves at the end of May.
Moholi is the fifth CEO in seven years to leave the group. When her resignation was announced she had been in the role for just over 18 months. Five board members stepped down late last year, including chairman Lazarus Zim.
Troubled platinum producer Lonmin has not named a CEO since Ian Farmer's sudden resignation last year due to bad health. Simon Scott is acting CEO.
The departure of the ANC's new deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, from at least 10 companies will lead to a huge vacuum.
Mondi, where he is chairman, said it would discuss this with him "at the appropriate time".
Standard Bank, where he is a non-executive director, said it would follow "normal" corporate governance procedures.
Ansie Ramalho, CEO of the Institute of Directors, said succession planning was crucial to risk management. "However, in my experience many corporates still lack in this area." She said politicians were entitled to make investments.
"However, as is often the case with matters of conflict, it is the extent of Ramaphosa's interests that is problematic - together with the potential for the abuse of power to advance personal interests that comes with his new political position."
Paul Norman, head of human resources and corporate affairs at MTN, where Ramaphosa is chairman, said the board still had to "consider" a replacement.
The group would not be drawn on contingency measures.
SABMiller said all non-executive directors — including Ramaphosa — are "kept under close review", without revealing what such measures entail.
* This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times
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