The COVID-19 pandemic and extended lockdown have placed tremendous pressure on CEOs to ensure the wellbeing of their employees and the sustainability of their companies.
With an expected GDP contraction of 7% and job losses of between 690,000 and 1.8 million, this is the worst financial crisis most South Africans will face in their lifetime.
CEOs of South African companies are now required to steer their companies through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Many companies had to implement salary cuts, short time, and retrenchments to keep their companies afloat.
To tell an employee they will lose their job or have to take a salary cut is one of the hardest things a CEO can do, but this is exactly what is expected of them during this time.
Unless they make these hard choices, they will neglect their duty to ensure sound and responsible fiscal management.
What employees say about their CEOs
To measure the performance of prominent South African CEOs from an employee’s perspective, MyBroadband conducted a lockdown survey.
This survey was completed by 7,603 South African IT executives, IT professionals, and financial professionals across South Africa.
The results revealed that most employees think their CEOs performed very well during the lockdown.
50% of employees rated the performance of their CEO during the lockdown as excellent, with 27% saying it was good and 14% rating it as average. Only 9% said it was poor or pathetic.
In comparison, only 6% of respondents described the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as excellent, with 41% saying it was poor or pathetic.
South Africans, therefore, had far more praise for their CEOs than for the government in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Five tech CEOs stood out for their excellent performance during the lockdown – Afrihost CEO Gian Visser, Vox CEO Jacques du Toit, MTN CEO Godfrey Motsa, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela, and Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.
All these CEOs received an approval rating of over 90% from their employees for their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaders in the financial sector performed even better, with all prominent CEOs receiving an approval rating of over 85%.
Discovery CEO Adrian Gore was the top-rated CEO with an approval rating of 98%, followed by Liberty CEO David Munro and Absa CEO Daniel Mminele.
The images below provide an overview of the approval ratings of South Africa’s top ICT and finance CEOs.