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‘Challenged’ Eskom runs job ad for new CEO with ‘integrity and ethics’

Outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter.

Outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter.

“A leader with unquestionable integrity and ethics” with a track record of “turning around commercially and operationally challenged organisations” is needed to take the helm at SA’s embattled power utility Eskom. 

Eskom on Sunday published a quarter-page advertisement for a new group chief executive following the resignation of current boss André de Ruyter in mid-December last year. De Ruyter had assumed his position on Christmas Day in 2019 and is the utility’s 11th CEO since 2007, when load shedding was first implemented. 

“The job of Eskom group chief executive in its current configuration is impossible. There is a lack of support and when this became clear to me, it became fundamentally untenable (to continue) given the repeated attacks on me and Eskom’s strategy by senior members of government,” De Ruyter told News24 at the time.

This followed a barrage of public attacks on him led by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s subsequent failure to publicly support him and his management.

The requirements for De Ruyter’s replacement include: 

  • A postgraduate degree in engineering and business administration or economics (an MBA would be an advantage);
  • At least 15 to 20 years’ senior management experience; 
  • A solid track record in proactively managing crises;
  • A leader with unquestionable integrity and ethics; and
  • A track record in turning around commercially and operationally challenged organisations.

The incumbent will be responsible for “building an ethos of excellence” and to ensure “efficient and sustainable delivery of electricity supply”. He or she should also possess a track record of working in a “complex environment” and “leading a business turnaround”. The deadline for applications is 27 February.

ALSO READ | Eskom COO job to be scrapped after Oberholzer retires 

The power utility has been struggling to keep the lights on and load shedding has been implemented every day of 2023. SA’s governing party, the ANC, has said it wants to end load shedding by the end of the year by reprioritising the national budget and declaring a national state of disaster. 

De Ruyter’s almost three years at Eskom have been marked by death threats, sabotage, relentless accusations and investigations, the Covid-19 pandemic, and a major lack of urgency from government to heed calls for additional capacity.

According to the job ad, Eskom employs 40 421 people and has annual revenues of R246.5 billion. It has debts of just under R400 billion, Bloomberg reported. 

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