When Pele Moleta announced that he was leaving his lucrative position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Post in early March, the industry was abuzz with speculation and debate. Moleta, who has been serving a three months notice as the PostOffice, is headed for greater heights as he has been appointed Chief Operations Officer of Barclays Bank. This puts him in good stead to take over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a few years, as the position is currently held by South African Reinette van Der Merwe.
During his tenure at Botswana Post, Moleta was given the name “The Post Man” which he accepted with pride and enthusiasm. Botswana Post recorded massive losses over the years, but that misfortune seemed to motivate him to relentlessly sell his vision of charting the organization into profitability, which he made sure drummed far louder than the post office’s hardships. Talk within the post office corridors implicitly suggested that Botswana Post had lost direction as it seemed to be selling a future that appeared far reaching, based on its chequered past.
But Moleta surged on and pinned the future of Botswana Post on technology and innovation. He introduced, among others Poso Cloud, which sought to bridge the digital divide with its offer of public wi-fi hotspots. He leveraged on the post office’s national footprint to forge easy access payment agreements with other organisations like cell phone network providers, power and water utilities as well as roads department.
Fast forward to June 1 2015, and the former Post Man has relocated from Poso House to Barclays House, where he has officially assumed his new title as COO of Barclays. His return may be termed as an inevitable comeback from a prolonged hiatus, given that he spent most of his career in the financial sector. Pele cut his teeth in the finance industry at First National Bank Botswana in 1994 after graduating from University of Botswana with a degree in Accounting and Economics. He took a detour to Old Mutual in 2002 but later retracted his steps back to FNBB in 2005.
Moleta joins Barclays at a time when the banking industry in Botswana is evolving and going through its toughest times by far. While he may not have had it easy at Botswana Post, he will have an even tougher task at Barclays, which has been recording massive losses and losing ground to other competitors in the banking industry. Moleta will be tasked with the responsibility to chartering the bank to profitability.
“What is growth for, if it’s not to help ordinary people to thrive?” Winnie Byanyima talking about inclusive growth at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2015 in Cape Town last week.