Craig Venter, the CEO of JSE-listed technology group Altech, which recently reported an operating loss of R1,2bn in the year to February 2013, has elected to forgo his bonus for the 2012/2013 financial year.
The losses come on the back of poor performances by Altech businesses in both East and West Africa, which it has now disposed of. The group reported an operating loss of R1,6bn from discontinued operations, prompting it to suspend dividend payments to “conserve cash resources” as it attempts to fight its way out of the financial hole it’s in.
In the past 12 months, the Altech share price has declined by more than a third.
“The board appreciates Mr Venter’s decision as it clearly demonstrates that he continues to place the interests of all stakeholders above short-term considerations,” Altech chairman Moss Leoka says in a statement.
In the statement, Altech says that although the East African operations were housed in a “separate legal entity that had autonomy in terms of how the business was managed, Venter … dismisses the suggestion that accountability should lie elsewhere”.
“The buck stops with me,” the statement quotes Venter as saying.
Says Leoka: “The board is pleased to see that the CEO has demonstrated faith in the future of the business, aligning his interests with the long-term interests of stakeholders by taking a short-term financial setback.”
Venter also received a pay freeze in the past 12 months of the previous financial year. “However, Altech recognises the importance of maintaining scarce intellectual capital to remain competitive and as such, the company will take cognisance of this when structuring compensation for Venter’s team, who have worked tirelessly to keep Altech’s reputation as a world-class ICT group,” Leoka says in the statement, adding that the board remains confident in Venter’s ability to lead the group.
Altech is a subsidiary of fellow JSE-listed group Altron, which will publish its annual financial results on Wednesday. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media
- See also: Altech feels more pain