Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Sikalesele-Vaka confirms resignation and‘re-hiring’ of BSE boss

The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), Regina Sikalesele-Vaka last week confirmed that BSE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hiran Mendis will be retained as a Consultant after his resignation at the end of this year.

Responding to questions from Sunday Standard, Sikalesele-Vaka said Mendis will terminate his contract with the bourse prematurely at the end of the year, after which he will be retained as a Consultant.

“His term was supposed to end in 2017 but he chose to terminate it prematurely for personal reasons so he can return to Sri Lanka. But we have opted to retain him as a Consultant to help us with a few things,” she said.

In his new role, Mendis will oversee some key projects that the Exchange is currently undertaking and also wishes to undertake.

“Mendis’ strategic input is required to deliver these projects.”

To thet end, said Sikalesele-Vaka, the BSE Main Committee decided to keep him in a consultancy capacity to ensure continuity so that the bourse can successfully drive its projects.

“We want Mendis to drive those projects because they are critical to the development of the Exchange. He will brief the Main Committee when required,” she said.

However, the structure of the BSE will largely remain unchanged, as Mendis will remain the substantive CEO until his resignation in December, whereupon his deputy, Thapelo Tsheole will be appointed acting-CEO.

“When Mendis is appointed as Consultant, the Deputy CEO will be appointed acting CEO. He will perform the duties of the CEO, but some of them will be retained by the Consultant for continuity,” said Sikalesele-Vaka.

Meanwhile, questions abound as to how Mendis’ consultancy role will be structured, especially since he cited personal reasons that will compel him to spend long periods of time in Sri Lanka. Members of the broking community have also asked how Mendis will be able to deliver effectively if he doesn’t spend much time in the country.

“We want to know how the consultancy will be structured because he has indicated that he wants to spend more time in Sri Lanka. You must also remember that he will retain some of the roles that would otherwise be taken over by the acting CEO,” they said.

They cautioned that there is a danger of the two men clashing as their roles will overlap. Contacted for comment, Gregory Matsake of Imara Capital Securities said Mendis’s resignation is a normal occurrence in the evolution of any organization.

“People come and go, organizations remain. Hiran played his part, so someone else can come in and take the baton,” said Matsake.


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