South Africa is experiencing a season of leadership musical chairs. CEO’s to have resigned in the past six months include Maria Ramos (Absa), Erik Venter (Comair), Peter Moyo (Old Mutual), Guy Hayward (Massmart), Themba Mosai (Group Five), Waheed Sulaiman (Wescoal), Thomas Thomsen (Ascendis Health) and Rory Mackey (SA Corporate Real Estate), not to mention Mark Barnes (Post Office), Phakamani Hadebe (Eskom) and Vuyani Jarana (SAA). An article in the Daily Maverick reported;
“More than 10 CEOs have either resigned or were pushed out of JSE-listed companies and business lobby groups since January 2019. It is only mid-year and market watchers expect the CEO revolving door to continue…”Daily Maverick
And it seems we’re not alone. On Jan. 23, 2019, Carlos Ghosn resigned as chairman and CEO of Renault, the largest French car maker, on accusations of financial misconduct.
Last week former Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg resigned following protests in Hong Kong in recent weeks. Incidentally Taiwan News, and various other media outlets in Hong Kong, have reported that Hogg, submitted his own name to the Chinese Aviation Authority, instead of a list of staff members who took part in the Hong Kong protests. This was after Chinese Authorities demanded the airline’s employees cease to be part of protests in the region.
On the note of the protests, it was also reported that Twitter and Facebook removed fake accounts that were suspected to be used by China to undermine the Hong Kong protest movement and calls for political change.
Behind each of the names and stories listed above live a range of stories that entail everything from leadership to betrayal.
What is going on?
If anything is to be understood from the revolving leadership door at present, both locally and abroad, its that these are challenging times. Executives and leaders are being challenged more than ever before not only with the rate of change but the rate at which the status quo changes. A quick view of my Twitter feed reveals Walmart is suing Tesla, Boris (Johnson) is announcing Brexit on the 31st of October, reports of Zimbabwe’s ever increasing inflation crisis…
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and more than understandable BUT…
It’s not all doom and gloom. Things are rapidly changing and the good news is that with this comes the ability to rapidly change the status quo as we would wish it to be. Just this week 181 CEO’s signed a round table statement stating that their organisations would be committed to contributing wider stakeholder value, over and above just pure profit.
In these fast changing times we’ve seen the rise of organisations committed to solving challenges, never before faced. Such organisations include Proudly Human, Omidyar and Systemic Team Coaches who are seeking to enable leadership teams to deliver on their purpose and the strategy of tomorrow.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the world of today, perhaps it’s time to ask questions about what change it is you’d like to see for there’s been no better time to collaborate and to create it.