Shameless Steinhoff board members want millions for managing crisis they created

It’s becoming clearer by the day that the rot that caused the corporate scandal at furniture retailing giant Steinhoff International goes much deeper than one man – the CEO Markus Jooste – who has come to represent the crisis.

Jannie Rossouw, Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences

The way in which Steinhoff’s board managed the unfolding of South Africa’s biggest corporate failure is appalling, says Jannie Rossouw, head of the Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences.

Jooste fell on his sword, along with a couple of other board members.

Many of them, however, have pleaded innocence.

To add insult to injury, they wanted to pay themselves millions for the extra work they did to manage the crisis they created.

According to Rossouw, board member Steve Booysen and Heather Sonn were to be paid an additional R2.9 million while Johan van Zyl would have bagged an extra R1.4 million.

Public outrage, however, forced the company to withdraw the bizarre remuneration proposal.

They must not be let off the book, implores Rossouw.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Rossouw.

Surely Markus Jooste didn’t change figures without anybody seeing him?

Jannie Rossouw, Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences

There’s no doubt… boards of public companies are responsible for published financial statements… I place the problem at the feet of board members who served at the time of the crisis…

Jannie Rossouw, Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences

At the minimum, board members should repay the fees they earned, if they claim they didn’t know what’s going on.

Jannie Rossouw, Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences

It’s time to step away, and give somebody else a chance.

Jannie Rossouw, Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences

The board members clearly don’t understand the damage they have done… It raises questions about their fitness to serve on other boards… Why would they exercise better corporate governance on other boards?

Jannie Rossouw, Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences

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