Denel Group chief executive Zwelakhe Ntshepe has resigned with immediate effect and his replacement – in an acting position – is Denel Aeronautics chief executive Michael Kgobe.
Ntshepe, who has been with Denel for 20 years and was named group chief executive just six months ago, cited “personal reasons” for leaving in his resignation letter, a Denel statement issued today said.
Prior to that, during Lynne Brown’s tenure as Public Enterprises Minister, Ntshepe was acting chief executive for two years.
Denel board chair, Monhla Hlahla, thanked Ntshepe for his contribution to the Denel group over the years.
She also assured employees, suppliers, customers and stakeholders, the Denel board is focussed on a turnaround that will deal with the liquidity and performance issues currently experienced by the state-owned defence and technology conglomerate.
Kgobe has an aeronautical engineering background and has been with the company since May 2000 moving through management ranks before being appointed chief executive of Denel Aviation, the precursor to Denel Aeronautics, in 2010.
He is credited with overseeing the successful turnaround and diversification of the division and its rapid growth to one of the best performing divisions in Denel.
In September 2016, Kgobe was tasked with the consolidation of Denel Aerostructures (SOC) Ltd and Denel Aviation into a single operating division, which became Denel Aeronautics that reported consolidated revenue of R1.6 billion in 2016/17 with a staff complement of 952 employees.
Kgobe has a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Production & Maintenance from Toulouse, France and completed both the UNISA Executive Leadership Programme and the Henley Business School Executive Development Programme.