Top CEOs join prestigious programme


Basani Maluleke, CEO of African Bank; Saks Ntombela, Group CEO at Hollard; EOH Group CEO, Stephen van Coller; Lillian Barnard Managing Director at Microsoft South Africa; Grant Pattison, CEO at Edcon and Charl Cronje, Managing Director of Ackermans are just some of the heavy hitters participating in the sixth annual Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa CEOx1Day Programme.

The 2019 event, which runs from August through to November is a reciprocal learning initiative by one of the world’s leading executive search firms and is aimed at helping CEOs and MBA students learn from one another. The participating CEOs gain first hand insights into what is shaping the minds of South Africa’s next generation of leadership while the students gain a better understanding around leadership styles and what it takes to run a large corporation.

Chania Stempowski, Joint Managing Director of Odgers Berndtson sub-Saharan Africa, says, “This year, the programme will see CEOs from South Africa’s largest companies provide select MBA students with the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a senior executive. While students will gain clarity on the pressures faced by executive management in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the CEOs will gain valuable insight into future talent and the changing landscape of South Africa’s leadership.”

“There is not a single, predetermined way to be a great CEO. In fact, I believe the CEO role is being reinvented to enable greater diversity, authenticity, collaboration and inter-connectedness which are required to be responsive to the increasing rate of change arising from 4IR,” says African Bank CEO, Basani Maluleke. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of future leaders as my team's leadership style evolves.”

“Our philosophy at EOH is, “Technology makes it possible, people make it happen”, and it’s in this spirit that EOH is extremely proud and excited to be associated with this important programme. The world is changing rapidly, so much so, that we are experiencing exponential change,” says EOH Group CEO, Stephen van Coller. “The next generation of leaders need to be prepared for this, and the CEOx1Day programme will enable the young leaders of tomorrow to start thinking about how to respond to this.”

Saks Ntombela, Group CEO at Hollard, views people as key to excellent service: “I believe that the people with the best people win, so I see my first priority as ensuring that we have the best team possible and I am deliberate about developing a cohesive and collaborative team.”

“The MBA students are selected from some of South Africa’s leading business schools, including the Wits Business School, the Gordon Institute of Business Science, the Graduate School of Business of the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch USB. Shortlisted MBA candidates undergo an intensive assessment process performed by Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa to be paired with one of the CEOs,” explains Lauren van Halderen, Joint Managing Director of Odgers Berndtson sub-Saharan Africa. “We look to see how the candidates think on their feet, work in a group situation and their overall fit with the CEOs through activities like case studies, presentations and in-person interviews.”

In addition to discovering future leaders and allowing student finalists an inside look into executive management by spending a full day immersed in meetings with leadership teams, the CEOx1Day Programme opens up discussions around strategic and transformational leadership for the new technological era.