DURBAN – Denel said today it has appointed William Hlakoane as acting group chief executive, effective today, replacing Talib Sadik, whose contract ended.
Hlakoane will hold the fort for six months while the state arms manufacturer continues its search for the permanent chief executive.
Sadik has also resigned as the director of Denel, following the end of his contract.
He leaves the company after reporting a disappointing set of results for the year to end March 2020, as losses continue to pile. In its long-awaited results published at the beginning of February, Denel reported a 19.95 percent decline in revenue to R2.73 billion and widened its losses to R1.96bn, as liquidity constraints forced it to battle with low funds to meet all its operational requirements.
The nomination and appointment of Hlakoane was approved by Denel’s shareholder, the South African government.
Denel chairwoman Monhla Hlahla paid tribute to the outgoing Sadik, “for the enormous value he has added over the years and more specifically during his acting period” and welcomed the incoming chief executive.
“The board welcomes Hlakoane as the interim group chief executive and looks forward to working with him on a successful transformation of Denel,” Hlahla said.
Hlakoane is a mechanical engineer by trade with an MBA from Milpark Business School and he is the current group chief operating officer.
“His appointment allows for a seamless transition into the role. He has a wealth of experience in the manufacturing sector, backed by a solid career track record that adds value to Denel. He is an experienced executive in operations management with in-depth technical abilities, project management and business development,” Denel said.
Hlahla also assured the employees, suppliers, customers and all stakeholders that while the board is dealing with the difficult financial challenges facing Denel, the focus remains on the business turnaround towards sustainable growth and profitability.
The board approved a turnaround strategy in 2018, as a result of which Denel embarked on a process to exit unprofitable, non-core businesses.