After Andre de Ruyter’s resignation from the company, the South African national power supplier Eskom said on Friday that it has appointed Calib Cassim to serve as its temporary chief executive officer. Calib Cassim will take over for Andre de Ruyter.
A statement issued by Eskom indicates that Cassim will continue to serve as the leader of the Eskom management team until the company issues more guidance on the matter. In his previous role at Eskom, Cassim served as the Chief Financial Officer.
After an interview that de Ruyter gave on Tuesday to a local television station, during which he claimed that the governing party was corrupt, the board of directors of Eskom ordered de Ruyter to resign from his position on Wednesday.
Calib Cassim, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, was selected as the temporary Chief Executive Officer of the state-owned power utility in South Africa two days after the sudden departure of the company’s former CEO. Cassim’s prior title was Chief Financial Officer.
Cassim, who has been the Chief Financial Officer at Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. since 2018, would reportedly continue to be in charge of the business until further notice, as said in a statement that was issued by the company on Friday.
The announcement that Andre de Ruyter, Eskom’s former chief executive officer, had left from his job earlier than expected was made by the company one week ago. This comes as a result of de Ruyter’s accusations that state officials are involved in theft and corruption, as well as his questioning of their dedication to finding a solution to the nation’s energy dilemma. South Africa is dealing with power outages that can last for up to 12 hours each day while Eskom struggles to manage regular breakdowns of its coal-fired power plants, which supply virtually all of the nation’s electricity. During this time, South Africa is also dealing with a number of other issues.
According to the company, Cassim has a “good understanding and awareness of the Eskom business and the power sector, particularly given the challenges facing the financing of operations and future expansion of the industry.” Cassim has been employed by Eskom for the better part of the last twenty years.
In December, De Ruyter submitted his resignation to the company, and the 31st of March was originally planned to be the day he would leave the company.
His age was not available for verification at the time of the publishing of this article.
Eskom is now ranked among the top 20 largest power utilities in the world based on its installed generation capacity. The company was initially founded in 1923 with the intention of providing services to the mining industry. More than ninety percent of South Africa’s power and forty percent of the electricity on the African continent are produced by this plant.
In order to improve Eskom’s overall efficiency and cut costs, President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to dividing the company into three parts: generating, transmission, and distribution. Transmission will be separated by the corporation by December 2021, and generation and distribution will be separated by December 2022, according to the current plan. Eskom has already established three distinct divisional boards, each of which is tasked with addressing concerns pertaining to a certain facet of the company’s operations.
The management of Calib feels that the upcoming two years will be crucial as they work towards the strategy to unbundle the firm and return it to a sustainable state. “We are dealing with both a financial recovery as well as an operational recovery at this time. In order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced by the business in the future, we must also move toward a more environmentally friendly energy mix.
Throughout the course of a number of roadshows and, more recently, weekly employee video chats, André has provided an overview of the business plan. According to Calib, there has been a healthy amount of staff involvement and buy-in to the plan. He places a high importance on André’s expertise in the private sector and the way he questions the established norm. Because he is not a member of the group, he contributes fresh thoughts. He has a keen eye for the particulars and is often questioning the rationale behind our actions. Because of his suggestions, several of our procedures needed to be reexamined and improved.
After taking on the post of CFO, Calib has implemented a number of new controls and procedures throughout the company. A questionable contract was brought to his attention less than a week after he began working in the role. He refused to sign it, and it was later determined that the transaction in question included state capture.
The scope of corruption and inefficiency at Eskom is currently being investigated by a Special Investigative Unit (SIU), which has already commenced its work. Up to this point, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) had already referred 5,512 cases to Eskom for further disciplinary action.
Calib is aware that news about Eskom are seen with a certain level of skepticism from the general public and recognizes that it can be challenging to read about the company’s history in the media. He is also aware that Eskom has an influence on the lives of millions of residents, and that this makes it important for media monitoring. “It is essential to pay attention to what the critics have to say and to be open to criticism. On the other hand, one cannot trust all of the bad and conclude that all of Eskom’s more than 40,000 employees were corrupt if they believe all that has been said about the company. According to Calib, you will discover that nearly all workers (99 percent) are devoted and faithful to their jobs.
Calib spent his childhood in the Overport neighborhood of Durban. He received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Natal and his honors degree from Unisa. He also has a master’s degree in business leadership in addition to his qualifications as a chartered accountant (MBL). When he was in school, he was good in arithmetic and accounting. Calib’s decision to enter the business world was sparked in part by the television show Dallas from the 1980s, which featured Texan oil tycoons and deal making.
According to Calib, achieving success in the financial industry demands not only a solid sense of self-esteem but also ethics:
Believe in your own capabilities; this is the first and most critical step. When you don’t believe in yourself, it’s obvious to everyone around you. The second need is that you must possess strong principles and morals. They are important enough to fight for, and would even be worth giving up a job for.
He feels that his ability to maintain composure and control his emotions are his greatest assets as a leader, and he attributes his success to these qualities. “Before I provide my opinion, I find it helpful to first listen. I have a healthy respect for constructive criticism and I rarely lose my composure. I have a direct personality, and I am exactly what I appear to be.”
Using one’s spare time to its full potential
Calib is the father of twin children who are 10 years old and a child who is 12 years old; he devotes the most of his spare time to spending time with his family. He considers himself to be a morning person, and one of his favorite things to do is to get up before the rest of his family in order to see the sun rise.
He enjoys watching a variety of sports, including soccer, cricket, and rugby. As the facility was under lockdown, he started playing tennis in the evenings. When he has any spare time, he likes to curl up with a good leadership book and get lost in it.
“I don’t have somebody in my life that serves as a model for me, but I do love learning about different types of leaders via the books I read. According to Calib, “I study about their leadership skills and attempt to take pieces from all of them and apply them to my own life.”