Sasol CEOs forced to step down to allow for 'leadership reset' 

Executive vice president of chemical Fleetwood Grobler to take over as president and CEO of Sasol.

Sasol joint CEOs Bongani Nqwababa (former CFO Award winner for his turnaround strategy at Amplats) and Stephen Cornell have resigned after an independent review into the Lake Charles Chemicals Projects (LCCP) revealed the management team acted inappropriately and demonstrated a lack of transparency and competence, among other things. On Monday, 28 October, Sasol announced the resignation of the CEOs in statement, which reassured shareholders that the board hadn’t identified misconduct or incompetence on the part of the joint CEOs. 

Sasol said that would will be taking disciplinary action against the executive vice president previously in charge of the LCCP who would be removed “from all work responsibilities” while three senior vice presidents will also leave the company.

“The Board has resolved to ensure that the company lives its values and to ensure that there is a culture of accountability and consequence management. It is also the judgment of the Board that, for trust to be restored in the company, a leadership reset is required,” reads the statement. 

Sasol executive vice president of chemical Fleetwood Grobler will take over as president and CEO of Sasol from November 2019. 

Sasol chairman Mandla Gantsho thanked the CEOs for their long and loyal service to Sasol, and for showing “exemplary leadership” by putting the interests of the company first in agreeing to step down to allow for a leadership reset. 

"At the leadership level, there needs to be a more robust challenge of key decision making. A spirit of 'constructive dialogue' which includes empowering challenge and avoiding conformity, needs to extend through the company so that people always feel able and free to speak up without fear for their prospects,” Gantsho said in the statement.

“It is a matter of profound regret for the board that shortcomings in the execution of the LCCP have negatively impacted our overall reputation, led to a serious erosion of confidence in the leadership of the company and weakened the company financially.”