Absa CEO’s resignation lamented
Johannesburg - Absa confirmed on Tuesday that it had differences of opinion with departing group chief executive Daniel Mminele in their working relationship.
Mminele’s departure has raised questions around the stability of the bank going forward.
Speaking to Independent Media on Tuesday, the Black Management Forum (BMF) said it would engage with the board of Absa to obtain further information and to get a more complete idea of what had actually transpired.
“The Absa Group board and the group chief executive, Daniel Mminele have come to an agreement pursuant to which he has stepped down as a director and group chief executive and will be leaving the group with effect from April 30, 2021. The parties have not managed to achieve alignment in relation to the group’s strategy and the culture transformation journey,” said Absa Group’s head of media relations, Phumza Macanda.
Mminele, the former deputy governor of the SA Reserve Bank, joined the group as chief executive on January 15, 2020.
“It is indeed regrettable that we should have had to part way so soon on our journey. 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,” said Mminele.
Absa said it was regrettable the decision had been reached.
“The board was excited about Daniel’s appointment and the positive role he was going to play at Absa. It is a matter of considerable regret that we reached this position. The parting of ways merely reflects divergent professional views and approaches, and is on a ’no fault’ basis.
“The board has conveyed to 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 Mminele. This was a very difficult decision that was not reached lightly,” said Absa Group chairperson, Wendy Lucas-Bull.
“Daniel and Absa have agreed that their interests are best served by this parting, with an appropriate separation arrangement. I would like to thank Daniel for his service, leadership and the contribution he made in a time of great challenge for the group and society more generally during the pandemic. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
The board has appointed Jason Quinn, Absa Group financial director, as the interim group chief executive with effect from April 20.
BMF expressed shock, and sees this as a huge blow for transformation.
“This is a shock to us as BMF; it is a serious blow to transformation in our view. As BMF we are not sure of the real reason for Mminele (leaving) his position, but the excuse given does not hold water,” said BMF board member and Western Cape chairperson Yonela Mvana.
“Mminele, being the first black CEO of Absa, with a tenure that has only lasted just over a year - stepping down from this vocation is a big blow for transformation, especially with the unfortunate news of Peter Matlare (deputy chief executive of Absa) passing away from Covid-19,” he said.
Mvana said it appeared that people of colour in top management positions in the financial sector lacked support, and this was indicated in the cases of the former chief executive of the African Bank, Basani Maluleke, and Peter Moyo at Old Mutual.
SA Communist Party (SACP) national spokesperson Dr Alex Mashilo said they had not been given details about Mminele stepping down by Absa or Mminele.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said: “Mminele must tell us the reasons for his stepping down. I cannot guess - maybe he was offered a better position elsewhere”.