Gods to the mere mortals that are corporate executives, CEOs seem unstoppable, unquestionable and sometimes even immortal. Or, at least, they used to. It has become even more common for boards to lose faith in the very same man or woman they had put the most trust in. What is happening to our highest positions and what does this say about the stability of our economy?
Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo
Comair CEO Erik Venter
Massmart CEO Guy Hayward
Grand Parade Investments CEO Hassen Adams
These are only a couple of names of the CEOs that have recently left their companies. The SAA and Eskom have had a revolving door of leaders, few of which have lasted more than 2 years.
Now, democracy may see frequent replacements as the preferred state of leadership, but corporate structures do not run on the principals of democracy. Looking at the comparable poverty of the peasants and the power of their lord, it is more akin to a feudal system. Here, new leadership means blood, conquest and a lot of violent change.
In the same way, firing a CEO can be brutal for a company. The large payments these people leave, dwarfs the salaries of ordinary, hardworking employees. It sometimes seems unjust that they get rewarded with millions for costing a company billions. That effect trickles down and blameless employees may be retrenched after the whole affair.
The whole kingdom becomes unstable when the king is banished, with a couple of chests of gold and this is exactly what is happening to South Africa. The economy is under too much pressure already and shaking the foundations will only lead to collapse.
Next time a CEO gets the boot, do not consider it a rich tyrant getting his due, but rather think of all the people who will suffer as a result.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall, the more damage their dead bodies do when they fall on the little guys.