It’s a recurring irony that business schools, which often lecture corporate boards and CEOs on the need for leadership succession planning, don’t always heed their own words. Or, if they do, the message never seems to reach the universities within which most of them sit.

A few weeks ago, after nearly two years as interim dean of the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs),  Morris Mthombeni was finally permitted to drop the “interim” from his title. He has been running the school since July 2020, following the departure of former dean Nicola Kleyn...

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