Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login.

Absa chief executive resigns due to differences with board on future strategy

The Absa group on Tuesday said that it was by mutual agreement that group chief executive and director Daniel Mminele will step down, after strategic talks failed to result in common ground on the bank’s future.

Mminele is set to leave the group on 30 April. 

He has described his departure as regrettable, saying that the development comes soon into his journey with the banking giant. 

“It is, however, important for the chief executive to be in complete alignment with the board on critical issues such as strategy and culture. I became enamoured of the brave, passionate and ready people of Absa and wish the group well for the future,” Mminele said.

He joined Absa in January 2020, only two months before South Africa and the world were thrust into a global pandemic that presented unplanned and unprecedented risks to the financial sector. 


According to Absa group chairperson Wendy Lucas-Bull, Mminele’s departure after just more than a year with the organisation was a reflection of varying views. 

“The parting of ways merely reflects divergent professional views and approaches, and is on a ‘no-fault’ basis. The board has conveyed to Mr Mminele its continued high regard for his competence and integrity. 

“The parties believe that this course is in the best interests of the company and Mr Mminele. This was a very difficult decision that was not reached lightly,” said Lucas-Bull.

The organisation said that during Mminele’s tenure, Absa delivered “a comprehensive customer and client relief package, and provided support and relief to public health authorities and communities respectively across all its African markets, while delivering a resilient and respectable financial performance under difficult conditions”.

A separation agreement is expected to be signed by both parties before Mminele officially steps down. The board has appointed Jason Quinn, Absa group financial director, as the interim group chief executive, with immediate effect.

Khaya Sithole, who is the Financial Sector Transformation Council board chairperson, told the Mail & Guardian that Mminele was at a disadvantage because he had had little time to gain institutional knowledge before the pandemic devastated economies and forced banks to restrategise. 

Sithole believes Absa has historically struggled with leadership transitions, and made an example of its split with Maria Ramos, when the official announcement was that she was retiring. 

He cast doubt on Ramos’s overnight retirement announcement ahead of her 60th birthday and questioned why a successor was not in place if her departure was planned. 

Ramos led the bank for 10 years, which included its split from Barclays, and throughout the 2008 global financial crisis. Announcing her planned retirement, Absa said that she had indicated a desire to step down earlier, but agreed to see the group through the separation negotiations with Barclays. 

Her retirement in 2019 left the position vacant for almost a year before Mminele joined the bank in 2020. 

Reacting to Mminele stepping aside, the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (Absip) said in a statement that the development was concerning, as it came on the back of similar developments at African Bank and the Eskom Pension and  

Provident Fund earlier this year.

In January this year, African Bank chief executive Basani Maluleke announced her resignation after only three years in the position. At the Eskom Pension and  

Provident Fund, executives announced that chief executive and principal officer Linda Mateza was stepping down after only 15 months.

According to Absip: “The nature of the changes – and the abrupt manner in which they have been communicated – create a lingering impression that the leadership transitions at such institutions are not adequately and properly managed. The fact that the existing chief executives have all been black professionals of stature, with little in the way of clear explanations being provided, gives the impression that we are seeing a continuous culling of black professionals. As an advocacy organisation with a mandate to champion transformation; such developments require us to engage and interrogate with a view of understanding the underlying issues.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Tunicia Phillips
Tunicia Phillips is an investigative, award-winning journalist who has worked in broadcast for 10 years. Her beats span across crime, court politics, mining energy and social justice. She has recently returned to print at the M&G working under the Amadela Trust to specialise in climate change and environmental reporting.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Khoikhoi versus US giant Amazon

The controversial River Club development gets the go-ahead, but opponents say they are heading for court

SIU moves on eThekwini housing scam

The developer allegedly secured illegal funding from the housing regulatory authority

More top stories

Why South Africa stopped making vaccines

The high demand for Covid vaccines means there is a limited global supply. Local manufacturing is one solution. So why isn’t South Africa making its own jabs?

‘He can’t just write letters out of anger’: Mantashe reacts...

That is not how decisions are made in an organisation, the party’s national chairperson warns as Magashule sends suspension letter to Ramaphosa

Hlophe’s attorney found in contempt of court

The high court said Barnabas Xulu acted with impunity and contempt in the saga of getting him to repay millions in state funds

Aced: ANC secretary general suspended from the party for the...

Magashule is barred from carrying out his tasks and cannot talk on behalf of the party
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×