CEO Forum concerned about corporate infighting
Such incidences, Samuehl said, threaten the sustainability of SOEs and affect all Namibians.
Samuehl made the comments during an interview with Namibian Sun last week.
“The forum has identified the poor working relationship between management and boards as the biggest threat for stability, and I think that conversation about tackling that problem, together with government, because the government cannot be left out of this conversation because they are the ones who appoint the board of directors. We need to have this exercise to see what is the best model,” Samuehl said.
Talk to each other
It is not a desirable situation if SOE boards and the CEOs that manage these entities do not get along, he said. The forum would also initiate a conversation to address situations where boards and the executive committees of SOEs could sit around the table and address an impasse where it arose.
“It cannot be that the CEO and board chairperson cannot see eye-to-eye; if they do that, there is this statement that if the elephants fight, the grass suffers, and the brand image also suffers, so that has to stop, and the forum is going to initiate this discussion to prevent these kinds of incidences,” he said.
According to Samuehl, it is incumbent on government to provide induction training to ensure that individuals appointed to SOE boards are properly acquainted with the environment SOEs exist in.
“I think there is room when boards are appointed, that the state or shareholder should really do inductions to help members understand what their responsibilities are, and corporate governance dictates that board members are there to provide strategic direction to support the executive committee,” he said.
“I think there are pockets of problems in SOEs, which is unfortunate because management and the boards should be able to work together to further the objectives of SOEs; they should not work against each other,” he added.
The forum provided a platform for CEOs of SOEs to discuss and share ideas around good corporate governance practices, Samuehl explained.
“We do interact, and the forum encourages SOE CEOs to do their level best and to ensure governance is adhered to,” he said.
The forum was established in 2017 and seeks to promote, develop and encourage cooperation between SOEs in order to promote uniformity, appreciation, establish business value-adding building blocks for each SOE, and advance the social and economic development of Namibia, according to its website.