Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Net1’s May 25 announcement that controversial CEO Serge Belamant was retiring effective June 1 appears to have triggered something of an executive landslide. In the two months since the announcement, more than 10 of the JSE’s largest listed companies announced unexpected and often dramatic changes to their boards. As if rushing to meet an imagined deadline, Liberty Holdings, Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon, Netcare, Mediclinic, Life Healthcare, Group Five, PPC, Adcorp, Tsogo Sun, Shoprite, Sun International and MMI announced such significant changes. No one, it seems, keeps close tabs on these sorts of corporate moves, largely because they are so rare. But governance analysts and investors agree the recent spate of "retirement" activity is without precedent. It is no coincidence that the share prices of all the companies are close to 12-month lows and in many cases, are substantially down on a three-and five-year view. Chris Logan of Opportune Investments says tough trading conditions and...

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