Denel announces second interim chief executive as Sadik contract ends


William Hlakoane has succeeded Talib Sadik as Interim Denel Group CEO effective from 22 February. Sadik had moved into the hot seat, also on an acting basis, last August following the departure of Danie du Toit.

Hlakoane is a Denel insider who was group chief operating officer before his (temporary) elevation to chief executive. He replaces Sadik, whose contract “has ended” according to a Denel statement issued today.

According to the statement, Hlakoane’s appointment “allows for a seamless transition into the role”.

“He has a wealth of experience in the manufacturing sector, backed by a solid career track record that adds value to Denel,” the company said. “He is a mechanical engineer by trade with an MBA from Milpark Business School…He is an experienced executive in operations management with in-depth technical abilities, project management and business development.”

One of his first major tasks will be appearing before Parliament on 24 February to brief it on Denel’s annual report and financial statements. Following a presentation from the now departed Sadik last week the Public Enterprises oversight committee said it wanted Denel to return and brief the committee on the turnaround strategy’s performance and plans to restore its reputation and workers’ morale.

The hunt for a permanent chief executive continues and will be communicated to stakeholders in due course, according to Denel.

Denel board chair Monhla Hlahla, the statement has it, “wishes to assure employees, suppliers, customers and all stakeholders while the board is dealing with the difficult financial challenges facing Denel – the focus remains on the business turnaround towards sustainable growth and profitability”.

She thanked the outgoing Sadik for the “enormous value he has added over the years and more specifically during his acting period.”