Gordhan plans a PPC comeback

29 September 2014

Ketso Gordhan is planning a comeback as chief executive of PPC after his shock resignation this week following a boardroom dispute.

If shareholders back him in pulling off this coup it will make corporate history.

“I remain very committed to PPC — both its staff and shareholders — and would be happy to serve as CEO again … but under the right circumstances,” he said on Friday.

Gordhan would not be drawn on what the “right circumstances” might be, but the group’s former chief executive, Paul Stuiver, confirmed mounting market speculation that a poorly functioning board gave Gordhan no choice but to quit.

Stuiver, the CEO of PPC from 2008 to 2012, shed light on the controversial situation by describing the difficulties he had dealing with the board.

“I was very disappointed but not surprised when I saw what happened to Ketso [Gordhan]. I had similar problems with the PPC board. Unfortunately, at times it does not act in the best interests of the company. There seemed to be a lot of conflict within the board. It makes it difficult for a CEO to operate.”

Gordhan’s departure sent the share price plummeting 7%. By the end of the week it had tumbled 9% to R29.75, wiping about R2-billion off PPC’s market cap.

Chris Gilmour of Absa Wealth and Investment Management summed up most of the investment community’s perspective on Gordhan’s resignation. “I find it extremely disturbing. He is a very impressive individual, and when he arrived PPC was languishing. He got it moving.”



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