Former Eskom CEO Thulani Gcabashe is set to become chairman of the board of Africa’s biggest banking group, Standard Bank, in a move that extends a transformation journey.
The JSE listed group, Standard Bank, announced yesterday that Gcabashe will take over from Fred Phaswana. He comes to oversea a board and executive team featuring a duo, Ben Kruger and Sim Tshabalala in the CEO position which makes the position 50% black.
In replacing a black chairperson, Phaswana, with a new black chairperson, Gcabashe, Standard Bank is keeping the transformation momentum. This will sooth proponents of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) who have expressed concern that mainstream corporate is treating affirmative action as if it was a once off act of the 2000. This observation is made on the back of a couple of appointments which reverse the affirmation trend.
Gcabashe (57), who reigned as Eskom CEO in the late 1990s into the early 2000s, knows his way around Standard Bank. He has served as a non executive director of the banking group for 12 years.
Phaswana, who has been chairman of SBG since 2010 said “Thulani has served with distinction on the boards of Standard Bank for nearly 12 years so he has an excellent and intimate understanding of the focus and direction that the Group is taking. In addition, his vast experience, both in business and on the various boards that he has served on, will be invaluable to the Group as Standard Bank focuses on delivering on its Africa strategy. Thulani takes over as chairman at a very exciting juncture in Standard Bank’s growth journey and I wish him all the best.”
The Standard Bank statement said Gcabashe is set to be appointed Chairman of Standard Bank at the conclusion of the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 28 May 2015, subject to his re-election as a director of Standard Bank Group at the AGM.
The statement added that in line with the significantly increased time commitment associated with his new role, Mr Gcabashe will be reducing his day to day executive involvement at BuiltAfrica Holdings, the renewable energy company that he founded. He will also over a period of time be stepping down as chairman of Imperial Holdings, chairman of MTN Zakhele and non-executive director of Togo Invest.
Gcabashe has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Ball State University in the USA as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Botswana and Swaziland.
Gcabashe: “Fred has set an exceptional standard and I am excited by the opportunities that this new position brings. There is still a lot to be done to consolidate Standard Bank’s position as the leading African integrated financial services organisation and I am looking forward to the challenge.”