Maria Ramos to leave Transnet

Maria Ramos, group chief executive of Transnet, will leave the company at the end of February 2009, the parastatal said in a statement on Friday.

An announcement of her future plans would be made “in due course”, it said.

“It has, for some time, been her wish to explore other challenges outside the company once the turnaround of Transnet had been completed.

“It is common knowledge that this point was reached some time ago and, for over a year now, the company has been implementing its four-point growth strategy.”

In a separate statement, Ramos said that she would be leaving with “mixed feelings; a sense of sadness at the inevitable separation and a sense of excitement at the future of Transnet and mine simultaneously”,

She said that Transnet had been her professional home “for the last five years or so”.

Ramos said the decision to depart had been one of the toughest decisions she had had to make.

“I believe this is the right time to depart the centre stage as the company is now ready for change and renewal.”

She said she had joined the company during one of the most difficult periods in its history.

“Among the many challenges we faced then was a R6,3-billion loss; a weakened balance sheet; low employee morale; unsustainably high gearing ratios; a steep decline in shareholders’ wealth; we were losing customers and volumes were dwindling as a result of lack of confidence in the company’s services; and in essence we were a value-destroying organ of state.”

She said that this was all behind Transnet now.—Sapa

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