Lamberti quits as Imperial head

Embattled Imperial chief executive Mark Lamberti has finally resigned as head of Imperial Holdings. (Image: Bloomberg)

Embattled Imperial chief executive Mark Lamberti has finally resigned as head of Imperial Holdings. (Image: Bloomberg)

Embattled Imperial chief executive Mark Lamberti has finally resigned as head of Imperial Holdings and will be replaced by the company’s current chief financial officer Osman Arbee as of May 2018.

“It is with regret that the Board of Imperial Holdings Limited today accepted the resignation of Group Chief Executive Mr Mark Lamberti with effect from 30th April 2018,” said Imperial in a statement issued on the JSE’s stock exchange news service.

This comes at the back of his resignation from board positions on both Business Leadership South Africa and Eskom.

On April 3 2018 the North Gauteng High court found that Lamberti impaired the dignity of Adila Chowan, a former employee at Associated Motor Holdings, an Imperial Holdings subsidiary. This followed him referring to Chowan as a “female, employment equity candidate”. Lamberti later unreservedly apologised for the remark.

Imperial Holdings denied Lamberti was found guilty of racism and sexism.
It said that its board has noted the content and tone of the judgment “in which there is no finding of defamation, racism or sexism” as its been widely reported in the media.

“Mr Lamberti has served Imperial with distinction since March 2014, leading a multifaceted portfolio, organisation and management restructuring, a key objective of which was to accelerate executive development and transformation to align Imperial’s employee and leadership profile with the economically active demographics of South Africa,” the statement read.

Lamberti’s comments about Chowan were deemed as sexist and racist, and the Economic Freedom Fighters, trade federation Cosatu, the Black Business Council and the Black Management Forum are calling for Mark Lamberti’s resignation from all his positions.

Imperial said its board has “resolved to implement corrective action to address deficiencies in Imperial’s gender and race relations culture highlighted in the judgement”.

​Thulebona Mhlanga

​Thulebona Mhlanga

Thulebona Mhlanga is financial trainee journalist  at the Mail & Guardian, currently enrolled for a masters in politics at the University of Johannesburg. In addition to her fervent interest in business writing, reading and educating others around issues of financial literacy, she volunteers her time to projects assisting women and promoting social justice.  Read more from ​Thulebona Mhlanga

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