Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe recently announced that he will step down at the end of July 2019, citing health reasons.
According to the chairman of the Eskom board, Jabu Mabuza, Hadebe has been instrumental in driving stability at Eskom during a very challenging period at the organisation.
“We have learnt to depend on his resilience to drive the kind of transformation that South Africa expects of our organisation,” said Mabuza.
This departure will therefore create further instability at the power utility, which has been struggling with financial, structural, and operational problems.
Eskom problems under Zuma
While Hadebe’s departure took many people by surprise, it is not unexpected when looking at Eskom’s track record over the past decade.
Eskom has been struggling to hold onto CEOs since former President Jacob Zuma took office and has been dogged with mismanagement and corruption over the last decade.
Between 1985 and 2007 (22 years) Eskom only had 3 CEOs – Ian McRae (1985–1994), Allen Morgan (1994-2000), and Thulani Gcabashe (2000-2007).
The power utility was financially stable during this period and the term load-shedding did not exist in South Africa.
Things rapidly changed after Gcabashe left office and over the next 10 years Eskom had 11 CEOs, interim CEOs, and acting CEOs.
This instability took its toll on the company with regular load-shedding, corruption, and mounting debt defining Eskom between 2008 and 2019.
Eskom CEOs – 1985 to 2019
The image below provides an overview of Eskom’s CEOs, interim CEOs, and acting CEOs between 1985 and 2019.