Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Suspended Choppies CEO could face further disciplinary action

The founding Chief Executive Officer of local retailer ÔÇô Choppies Enterprises – Ramachandran Ottapathu could find himself facing further discipline from the company’s board of directors.

This follows Ram’s recent media interviews in which he made claims that his suspension was as a result of disagreements with certain board members. Ram also told the local media that he presented a report that calls for changes in governance at board and Company level.

This week the Choppies board ÔÇô led by former President and also company shareholder Festus Mogae however disputed such claims adding that the CEO’s suspension was as a result of an aggregation of activities and conduct by Ram.

“As the Suspended CEO remains an employee of the Company during the period of his suspension, such rights and entitlements do not extend to unauthorised disclosures by him of confidential information relating to the Board and the Company (which may in and of themselves form the basis of disciplinary proceedings against him).

It has also emerged that during the suspension, Ram made an attempt to hold sideline meeting with as selected few Choppies shareholders despite his suspension from the company recently.

The Choppies board this week swiftly moved to block to the said meeting through a cautionary statement sent to shareholders through the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited  (BSEL) bulletin board. The leading mass grocery company is listed at both the BSEL and Johannesburg Stock Exchange but its securities remain suspended.

Early this week, the Choppies alarmed shareholders and the capital markets of an attempt by Ram to hold extraordinary general meeting (“EGM”).

“The Board has been made aware that a document purporting to be a draft notice of an extraordinary general meeting (“EGM”) of shareholders of the Company (“EGM Notice”) has apparently been sent by Mr Ottapathu (or on his behalf) in his capacity as a shareholder to select shareholders. The Board advises shareholders that it has not authorised the issuance or circulation of any such EGM Notice.”

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The Telegraph November 25

Digital edition of The Telegraph, November 25, 2020.