JUST A NUM­BER

Finweek English Edition - - INVESTMENT -

Fresh from leav­ing Trans­ac­tion Cap­i­tal as the CEO, Mark Lamberti has popped up at Im­pe­rial as its CEO. His CV is one of the more im­pres­sive in South Africa, as he founded Mass­mart and served on many other boards. Cer­tainly af­ter the re­cent price sell-off of Im­pe­rial, his ap­point­ment will please share­hold­ers, al­though it will take some time for him to re­ally make an im­pact. What got me in­ter­ested were the state­ments around his age – at 63 he is hit­ting what most cor­po­rates con­sider re­tire­ment age. Now, sure, I do think a CEO should have a shelf life of 10 years at most, but the idea of show­ing some­body the door merely be­cause they are at a cer­tain age makes ex­actly zero sense. If a per­son is f it, will­ing and able to do the job re­quired of them, they should not be let go sim­ply be­cause of a num­ber on their birth cer­tifi­cate – this is an out­dated prac­tice.

Mark Lamberti

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