Letshego CEO quits

  • Former CEO quit last year
  • CFO also quit

Gazette reporter

Smit Crouse, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana’s biggest microlending firm has quit his job, barely a year after he was head-hunted to lead the company. Crouse will step down from his role with immediate effect. No reasons were given for his impromptu resignation which was announced this past weekend.

Letshego seems to be of late, struggling to keep chief executives. In an impromptu and unexpected decision, Chris Low, then Managing Director at the pan-African microfinance firm, quit his job last year. No detailed explanations were given for his resignation. However, there were allegations that the board had its reservations about Low, a man who had previously worked at American multinational investment bank and financial services company, Goldman Sachs.

Those in the know say, the board was not in agreement with Low’s strategy, as well as the shareholder value he created. However, an official communique from Letshego was that Low is pursuing other interests. Just this week, at the company’s interim financials, another executive leader, then crucial in Low’s team quit. Colm Patterson was the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO), a second in command in Letshego’s group leadership structure. Like his former boss Low, Patterson was also ‘pursuing other interests’. Coincidentally though, he steps down at a time when the new boss, Crouse is restructuring the executive leadership because he wants ‘Sub optimally structure Letshego for success’.

While the Board conducts its search for a successor, Dumisani Ndebele has been appointed as the Group CEO for the interim period. Dumisani, who will report directly to the Board, will commence his position following necessary approvals from relevant regulatory bodies.

Dumisani is currently the Group Company Secretary and returned to Letshego at the beginning of January 2019. He originally joined the Group in 1999, during its formative phase, as Finance and Administrative Executive. During his time at Letshego, Dumisani shared his expertise in several leadership roles, namely Finance Director, Group Risk and Compliance Director and finally, Group Head of Governance and Compliance – a position Dumisani held from 2013, until his departure in 2016.

Dumisani is a Fellow Chartered Accountant of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a Fellow Chartered Management Accountant (UK). He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy Honours Degree from the University of Zimbabwe, and MBA from the University of Derby (UK). Dumisani is a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, as well as the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa. Prior to joining the Letshego Group in 1999, Dumisani was Finance Manager at De Beers, supporting the diamond trading and prospecting division in Botswana.

Matshidiso Kimwaga will step-up to assume the Group Company Secretary role. Matshidiso joined Letshego in 2018 as Head of Legal and Compliance for the Southern African region which includes governance and company secretary responsibilities. She holds a LLB Degree from the University of Pretoria and a Postgraduate Certificate in Compliance Management from the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining Letshego, Matshidiso held legal, risk and compliance leadership roles at Liberty Life Botswana and Stanbic Bank Botswana.