Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe resigns, cites ‘unimaginable demands’

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JOHANNESBURG, May 24 – The Eskom board announced on Friday that its group chief executive, Phakamani Hadebe, would step down at the end of July.

The announcement comes a year after Hadebe was appointed as permanent chief executive of the troubled South African power utility. He acted in the position for several months following Eskom’s revolving door policy on its CEO position.

Hadebe indicated that the stress accompanying the job had not been kind to his health or the wellbeing of his family, and thanked Eskom for giving him the opportunity to serve in the position.

“It is no secret that this role comes with unimaginable demands which have unfortunately had a negative impact on my health. In the best interests of Eskom and my family, I have therefore decided to step down,” he said.

“It has been a privilege to serve South Africans as the Group Chief Executive (GCE) of  Eskom. I am humbled and grateful to have contributed towards the
stability for an organisation that is critical for our economy. I am particularly grateful to the board, the EXCO, and all our employees for their resilience and support during this journey.”

Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza said Phakamani had been instrumental in driving stability at Eskom during a 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. Appreciating the toll that this takes on an individual, we have had to, with regret, accept his decision,” he said.

Mabuza said the board was grateful to Hadebe for his commitment to ensuring leadership stability as a critical factor in the successful implementation of Eskom’s strategy to deliver on both its commercial and developmental mandate.

He said they would be engaging with Hadebe over the coming weeks to ensure continuity and a steady transition.

“On behalf of myself and the Board, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. Hadebe for his contribution to Eskom’s transition journey. The dedication and passion with which he has taken to fulfilling such a critical mandate is commendable,” Mabuza said.

Hadebe’s exit has already started furthering speculation that Absa’s outgoing CEO, Maria Ramos, will take over the reigns at the power utility and preside over its unbundling – announced earlier this year – into three units.

– African News Agency (ANA)