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EOH appoints new chair to steer group on 'ethical leadership' path following probe

Jun 05 2019 16:17
Lameez Omarjee, Fin24

EOH has appointed Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi as group chairman, this after founder and former chairman Asher Bohbot stepped down earlier this year.

The IT services group on Wednesday issued a shareholder notice indicating that Mkhwanazi will take on his new position with immediate effect. Among the things he is tasked with, Mkhwanazi will lead the group's deliberations following an internal investigation into public sector contracts.

"We are very pleased with the appointment of Dr Mkhwanazi to the board. His track record of providing courageous leadership in challenging business environments, coupled with his commitment to sound corporate governance, were key drivers for his appointment.

"We believe Dr Mkhwanazi is a strong addition to the board and will reinforce the newly-appointed executive team on our journey to ethical leadership and building the EOH of the future," CEO Stephen van Coller said in the notice.

Mkhwanazi will take over from interim board chairperson Jesmane Boggenpoel. Boggenpoel had filled the role temporarily after Bohbot resigned in February amid a board shake-up at the group, Fin24 previously reported.

Bohbot and four other board members resigned after Microsoft terminated a contract with one of EOH's subsidiaries which meant it would no longer be a seller of Microsoft licences. Microsoft has launched a probe into EOH's public sector contracts. The news saw EOH's share price plummet by 11%.

The group embarked on its own internal review of public sector contracts following allegations of corruption. ENSafrica conducted the review which concluded on May 31. The group has said its board members would be provided a report on the internal probe.

"The board will, on receipt of the report, take the necessary time to assess the detail thereof and where necessary engage with relevant stakeholders," the group said in a notice issued on May 21, 2019.

"Having been presented the preliminary findings, Dr Mkhwanazi and the board will assess these, ask for such additional work as may be required and engage with relevant stakeholders where appropriate.

"Relevant findings and associated actions will be disclosed as soon as practically possible after the next steps have been agreed by the board," EOH said in its latest shareholder notice. 

"I am impressed by the way new management is tackling legacy issues and also by their clear vision for our future. I believe the more than 11 000 staff members deserve transparent leadership and I am looking forward to the challenge," Mkhwanazi said of his appointment.

Mkhwanazi was previously the chairperson of BHP Billiton and also served on executive level at South Africa Aluminium and Bateman Africa.

He has also held senior positions at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

EOH's share price which opened at opened at R19.53 on Wednesday was trading at R19.75 shortly before the announcement. It climbed to over R20.07 following the announcement 15:35. By 15:50 the share was trading at R20.

eoh  |  microsoft  |  board
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