The appointment, this week, of “a seasoned chartered accountant” as chief financial officer (CFO) of Denel will strengthen the defence and technology conglomerate’s management team which changed in line with its turnaround strategy, the company has said.
A Denel statement has it that “Carmen le Grange joins Denel and will also serve on the Board of the State-Owned Company. She will oversee Denel group financial affairs as well as play a critical role in improving audit results, financial systems and capability. She will work closely with the Auditor General and the investor community”.
Denel group chief executive Danie du Toit said Le Grange joins at a time when the turnaround strategy is starting to deliver. There have been improvements in corporate governance and government’s recent decision to recapitalise the organisation will put Denel on a sustainable growth path he said.
“We expect her to lead in further stabilising Denel finances and implementing measures introduced to improve performance and restore confidence in the future of the company among stakeholders, partners and suppliers.”
Le Grange comes to Denel after a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors, according to the company statement. A chartered accountant and University of Natal graduate, she served as partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers for more than a decade before founding an advisory consulting practice. She serves on the audit committee of the Department of Tourism and on the education and transformation committee of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors.
Du Toit said she joins a capable and committed leadership team ready to take Denel forward to the next phase of its growth. Her appointment comes on the heels of Sello Ntsihlele named Denel Dynamics chief executive and Mxolisi Makhatini new head the landward division.
Denel recorded a R1.76 billion loss – its first in eight years – in 2018 and is among several state-owned enterprises being kept afloat with government bailouts.
It is slowly filling senior management positions – du Toit was appointed in December – and is pushing ahead with a turnaround strategy that could see it begin exiting loss-making businesses and forging new equity partnerships within months.