The exercise to find a substantive Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Tourism Organisation has been put on hold in order for the new board to realign the direction of the organisation.
Chairman of the newly appointed Board of Directors and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism, Neil Fit, said that currently BTO is focusing on the modalities to realign the organisation’s direction and structure and therefore, have put hold on the recruitment of the BTO CEO.
Asked to state the time frame targeted for the recruitment of the substantive CEO at BTO, he said, “there is no time frame because as explained above we have put it on hold.”
“At this time no one is facilitating the process of the recruitment of the CEO. We have Mr Thabo Dithebe who is currently Acting CEO until such time that we recruit the substantive CEO,” said Fit.
He also pointed out that the immediate role of BTO CEO is to drive the execution of the BTO mandate and strategically lead, plan and implement tourism strategic objectives in consultation with the Board.
However, Sally-Anne Follet-Smith, a highly ranked executive of the Wilderness Group who was recently linked with the post has quit her job. Smith recently confirmed her departure from the company to Wilderness Holdings employees through an electronic mail communiqu├®.
“As yet I’m not a 100 percent sure what I’ll be moving on to but it will still be somewhere in the industry and, with our industry being what it is … this is not a goodbye but rather a “I hope to see you soon”.
Smith, who at some point worked as the general manager for Wilderness Adventures, a subsidiary of the group based in Johannesburg was instrumental in the opening of the Gaborone office of the company after it listed at the Botswana Stock Exchange a few years back.
In her last day good bye message to members of staff, she said looking back over the past 10 years it’s easy for her to see how it is that Wilderness remains amongst the leaders in the industry … practically every two years, we (the company) re-invented themselves in some way.
“I believe the speed of the changes and progressively becoming more sophisticated is a testament to the strength of the Wilderness team. Finding availability in WISH for a single room on consecutive nights is almost an impossibility,” she stated in the email.
BTO top post became last December 2013 after the departure of the founding CEO Myra Sekgororoane, a tourism industry veteran who rebranded the then Botswana Tourism Board (BTB) into Botswana Tourism (BTO) after serving the organisation for eight years.
Fit and other BTO board members were appointed two months back by the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama. His BTO chairmanship appointment took place after government recently made it mandatory and advised that Permanent Secretaries should not be chairpersons of board of directors of parastatals. It is said that the best practice is not to have PSs chairing Boards as they are also policy makers and regulator of the same entity or organization.