*EXCLUSIVE* Both sides of the PPC boardroom brawl from the horses’ mouths

In short:

  • Ketso Gordhan resigned as PPC CEO in September after the Board rejected his request to fire Chief Financial Officer Tryphosa Ramano.

  • Gordon claims he had no confidence in her or the Board’s ability to implement a complex strategy to expand into the rest of Africa.

  • Gordhan later withdrew his resignation, but the Board declined to reinstate him.

  • Gordhan has, thus far, failed to convince shareholders that the Board should reinstate him.

  • Gordhan claims that the majority of workers have petitioned to rehire him.

  • According to the Board, Gordhan’s reasons for firing Ramano had nothing to do with her inability to implement strategy. Instead they claim the real reasons to be the following:

    • Ramano had a bigger office than Gordhan and wanted reserve parking.

    • Ramano refused to join a voluntary salary sacrifice scheme introduced by Gordhan to reduce the pay gap between the highest and lowest paid employees.

    • Ramano’s questioning of a verbal loan agreement struck by Gordhan.

    • Ramano’s apparent mistreatment of an employee hired by Gordhan.

Ketso Gordhan’s side of the story

“The reason I resigned was because I had no confidence in the Board and its ability to implement a complex strategy to expand into the rest of Africa,” says Gordhan.

“As CEO I have the authority to choose my executive team. Yet, I went to the Board with my decision, because that’s my style of management,” says Gordhan. “We need the right people for this company, but I was disallowed.”

Gordhan has been, unsuccessfully, lobbying shareholders to get his job back. He claims, however, that the majority of workers have signed a petition, which has been presented to the Board, for him to get his old job back. He also claims to have the backing of a large number of those in the executive team as well as many of PPC’s foreign partners.

“The Board has not behaved in a way that is in the best interest of the business,” says Gordhan.

Click on the Soundcloud imbed to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

PPC Executive Chairman Bheki Sibiya’s side of the story

“Ketso Gordhan is lying,” says PPC Executive Chairperson Bheki Sibiya. “Those lies can harm the interests of PPC and our shareholders.”

Gordhan’s claim that an unnamed financial institution is threatening to withdraw funding of more than R2-billion due to the Board’s failure to reinstate him is not true, says Sibiya.

“We are surprised that he wants his job back,” says Sibiya. “He was sane and sober when he quit; it was his own decision. “It was the second time that Gordhan resigned. The first time it was verbal and emotional. He’s a great person, was a good CEO, but he is poor in matters of governance. His inexperience became his downfall."

Sibiya explains that the Board was, initially, unsure if they should accept Gordhan’s request for reinstatement. “As the board was deciding Gordan sent a message to say he was going to take the board head on,” says Sibiya. “That then indicated that the apology he sent wasn’t genuine. The board then unanimously decided not to take him back as he acted immaturely."

Gordhan’s reasons for wanting to fire Ramano were, according to Sibiya, improper and he failed to follow the appropriate procedures.

“He wanted to fire the senior executive because she had a bigger office than him; she requested reserved parking, which was declined. She refused to participate in a voluntary salary sacrifice scheme, which Gordhan had initiated to bridge the wage gap between the highest and lowest paid worker,” said Sibiya.

“His reasons for wanting to fire her had nothing to do with our strategy!”

Click on the Soundcloud imbed to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

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