Business Leadership SA on Tuesday said it was “seriously concerned” about the tendency of South African companies to appoint joint CEOs when “it is the black executive’s turn to occupy the highest office”.
BLSA was reacting to news that Investec had appointed Fani Titi and Hendrik du Toit as the joint CEOs of the financial services group.
Investec CEO Stephen Koseff and the group’s managing director Bernard Kantor are set to step down from their roles on October 1 this year.
Titi, the group’s chairperson, and Du Toit, the founding CEO of Investec Asset Management, will become Investec’s CEO designates on April 1 2018, subject to regulatory approval.
They will become joint CEOs on October 1.
In a statement BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale said that while the group welcomed the new leadership at Investec and pledged to support it, the trend of appointing joint CEO’s was cause for concern.
“This perpetuates the narrative that black people cannot manage either a complex business and/or a global business on their own. Consequently, they are in perpetual training without ever graduating,” said Mohale.
“We have full confidence in both Mr Titi and Mr Du Toit’s abilities to take Investec to the next level in its growth path,” he said.
‘Out of court’
Speaking to Bruce Whitfield on Talk Radio 702’s Money Show on Tuesday evening, Koseff said that Mohale’s pronouncements on Investec’s joint CEO position were “totally out of court”.
“People keep throwing darts at us. We have done a brilliant job on transformation with our people. We have done a brilliant job on helping society transform. [There are] many many projects that we have backed and sponsored. And I just think that it is inappropriate.”