In the sprint for the post of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Standard Chartered Bank Botswana, The Business Weekly & Review has established that major shareholders at Standard Chartered PLC in London and Asia may choose to appoint someone from the Head Office.
This week, Moatlhodi Lekaukau left the employ of the bank, which is currently headed on an interim basis by Mpho Masupe, substantively the Chief Finance Officer (CFO). The Business Weekly & Review asked Lekaukau if he could provide a hint as to who could be his successor, the information he said he was not privy to. Queried as to whether or not he did not recommend to his former masters who should take over he said he did. “Of course I was asked to recommend someone, I simply gave them a profile of the suitable candidate to take over, and I threw in one or two names for their consideration.” He did not however reveal the names.
Lekaukau was a stern believer in localizing top positions at the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) quoted banking counter. While when he took over in 2012 as the first ever Motswana boss, he found 50 percent of top management positions expatriate, he leaves a bank that has over 90 percent of the management positions held byBatswana. “It was one of the goals I set out to achieve,” he said. Further, sources revealed that internally, CFO, Masupe and the Chief Operations Officer (COO) Pedzani Tafa are two of the possible names that Lekaukau has suggested as candidates to the banks top position.
While these two are front-runners for the CEO post, sources said that the bosses and Standard Chartered PLC actually prefer jetting in their own appointee.
Should an expatriate be appointed as CEO at Standard Chartered Botswana, it would see the localization of the CEO position being reversed, after the bank made history five years ago when it appointed Lekaukau as the first Motswana to lead it. While there are those that believe that the bank may appoint a foreign CEO, officials at the bank are tight-lipped on the ongoing recruitment of the bank’s top post. Sources believe that with the tough global and local trading environment, especially in the banking sector, which is exposed to unfavorable trading conditions, Head Office would prefer someone closer to the strategy makers, who would be able to implement exactly what the Head Office wants for better efficiency.
As the banking sector regulator, the Bank of Botswana (BoB) has the final say in approving any candidate that the bank proposes to take over as CEO. Sources reveal that were it not for such regulatory oversight, Head Office would have swiftly roped in their preferred CEO.
Lekaukau’s appointment in 2012 saw him taking over from the West Indian David Cutting, in a transition that was not a smooth. Lekaukau was Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Delloitte South Africa. At a time when he was appointed, Standard Chartered had been having a Deputy CEO in Serty Leburu, who had been an understudy to succeed Cutting. When the bank wanted her to take over as CEO, the central bank, under the stewardship of Linah Mohohlo declined to have Leburu take over as CEO.
Lekaukau was then imported from South Africa to come and head the bank. However, he has in previous interviews revealed that henever took interest in the position of Stanchart CEO at the time, until he was encouraged by an acquaintance.