Eskom CEO announced

The Eskom board has announced that Dan Marokane will be the next CEO of the beleaguered state-owned power utility.

This comes after Bloomberg reported yesterday that he was expected to be appointed as the new chief executive.

“Mr Marokane is a qualified chemical engineer who has an MBA and a seasoned executive with more than 20 years senior leadership experience,” Eskom said in a statement released on Friday afternoon.

“He will join Eskom no later than 31 March 2024.”

Eskom said Marokane returns to the company after he and three other senior executives were suspended following an ethical stand they took against state capture, fraud, and corruption.

“He has experience working in distressed organisations with visible and pressurised turnaround mandates,” said Eskom.

“His recent assignment is at Tongaat-Hulett where he stepped up to lead this financially distressed business when its chief executive officer resigned.”

Eskom board chairman Mteto Nyati said Marokane’s appointment follows a long, rigorous, and meticulous recruitment process.

“Dan has experience in managing complex strategic, operational and commercial turnaround across the private and public sectors,” said Nyati.

“He also has in-depth knowledge of the Eskom environment. He leads from the front. He will hit the ground running. That is what Eskom and South Africa need right now.”

Eskom said its board embarked on a global search for a suitable candidate with the necessary leadership, experience, business orientation, and a solid track record in the energy sector.

“We are delighted to have him on board and are confident that he, the executive committee and the Board will work well together in rebuilding an Eskom of tomorrow that is anchored on high performance culture,” Nyati said.

Eskom also thanked public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan for his role in appointing Marokane.

Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises of South Africa

“The Shareholder has been an integral part of the recruitment process,” Eskom stated.

“To ensure compliance with Eskom’s Memorandum of Incorporation, the Shareholder had to ask the Eskom Board to go back to the drawing board until it found three appointable candidates.

“Eskom thanks the Minister of Public Enterprises for his counsel, and for placing the appointment of the GCE top of the agenda.”

This was an interesting statement for Eskom to include in the announcement.

Earlier reports had indicated there were five front-runners for Eskom’s top job, four of whose names became publicly known.

They were Marokane, NRS Association chair Vally Padayachee, former Eskom Rotek Industries director Ayanda Noah, and former Eskom CFO Paul O’Flaherty.

City Press had reported that the word on the street was that the Eskom board wanted to appoint Dan Marokane, but Gordhan was opposed to his candidacy because Marokane was likely to resist political interference at Eskom.

Citing ANC sources, the paper also reported that the ruling party wanted Ayanda Noah. However, Gordhan was concerned that she may be too close to his Cabinet colleague and energy policy rival, energy and mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe.

Gordhan rubbished reports suggesting he was interfering in the CEO appointment, outright calling them lies.

Eskom later explained — but only after a flurry of confusing press statements — that its board had presented only one name and not three as required by the minister.

Marokane said he is looking forward to the challenge of what has been termed the most difficult job in South Africa.

“It is an honour to be chosen to lead Eskom at this critical juncture in its history,” he said.

“I look forward to working with the leadership team, Eskom Board, the Shareholder and other key stakeholders to accelerate implementation of the Generation Recovery Plan, the creation of transmission capacity as well as other critical Eskom priorities and chart a path to a sustainable future for Eskom,” Marokane stated.

“If it is to be, it is up to us.”

Now read: Eskom publishes weekend load-shedding schedule — with a brief break on Sunday

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Eskom CEO announced