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Shock as PPC head bows out

Ketso Gordhan Ketso Gordhan

PPC announced via Sens on Monday that its CEO Ketso Manecklal Gordhan had resigned. Gordhan steps down from his executive director role as well. It states that Gordhan “regrettably resigned due to differences of opinion with the Board, regarding Board procedures for the approval of certain decisions.”

Non-executive Chairman Bheki Sibiya steps in as Executive Chairman with immediate effect, until a new CEO is appointed. Tim Ross, independent Non-executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee, will be Lead Independent Director of the Board. PPC has started the process of recruiting and appointing a new CEO.

Gordhan, who was appointed in November 2012, will continue providing input to “crucial projects” that he was leading, according to Sibiya. He added that the local business “remains in good hands under the leadership of Richard Tomes and Johan Claassen as Joint Managing Directors, who collectively have over 40 years of experience at PPC.”

“PPC has a capable and experienced management team led by Pepe Meijer, Managing Director - International, who has over twenty five years’ experience with the company. He will continue to implement the expansion of the business into the rest of Africa.”

Sibiya emphasized that PPC's growth momentum remains on track. "We have signed EPC contracts for four projects, Rwanda, DRC, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, and construction is underway.

Legacy

“Ketso has been instrumental in the execution of the African expansion strategy of PPC, which has now gained significant traction. He also should be commended for his excellent work on closing the remuneration gap within the organisation as well as implementing an innovative employee housing support initiative," said Sibiya.

Gordhan told Moneyweb in May that he felt the 1:120 ratio between him and the lowest-paid person in PPC was wrong and the only way to rectify it would be to cut from the top and increase at the bottom. He said by October the ratio would have reduced to 1:40. According to Gordhan at the time, the 60 top executives at PPC voluntarily joined him in this initiative and 1,000 workers at PPC each got roughly R10,000 a year more.

Gordhan said on Monday: ”I have really enjoyed my time at PPC and am proud to have implemented a number of new initiatives and seen the company on an exciting growth path. I am leaving with a heavy heart.”

Following the announcement PPC's shares dropped, and were down 6.15% at R30.50 by 16:24.

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