South Africa’s ADvTECH and group chief executive (CEO), Leslie Maasdorp have reached a mutual agreement to part ways.
The private education group added that the terms are confidential to the two parties.
“I leave [DATA ADH:ADvTECH] with a heavy heart as I have enjoyed my time with the group,” Maasdorp said.
“I look forward to remaining engaged in the sector and contributing to improving education outcomes in South Africa and beyond.”
Maasdorp was appointed to the board in 2009, became chairman in 2010, and resigned as chairman when he was appointed CEO in August 2014.
Acting Chairman Jeff Livingstone said, “The board thanks Leslie for his contribution to ADvTECH over many years and it wishes Leslie every success in the future.”
(WATCH VIDEO: ADvTECH appoints Leslie Maasdorp as CEO)
ADvTECH later announced that Frank Thompson has been appointed as interim CEO.
“His appointment will allow the group time to make a decision regarding a permanent appointment,” it said.
“Frank recently retired as group CEO of ADvTECH and is well placed to take over management of the company.”
With regards to the departure of Maasdorp, Thompson told CNBC Africa that the differences between Maasdorp and the ADvTECH board were regarding the operations rather than the strategy.
“In terms of the reasons, I can tell you that the group’s strategy has been well thought out over a long period of time – Leslie was a participant in the formulation and development of that strategy, having been a director and chairman for many years,” he said.
“I think though there were differences between Leslie and the board in the operational side of the business – Leslie himself was quoted this morning as saying that, and clearly the parties have come to a decision that the best way forward is to part company.”
Thompson added that rumours in the industry that perhaps Maasdorp was responsible for overpaying for certain acquisitions were unfounded.
“First of all, I don’t think we overpaid and secondly, the decisions to make investments of that nature are taken by the board after a thorough evaluation by management and the CEO,” he explained.
“It would be a little bit wicked to blame one person in any event. But the truth is I think the acquisitions were well done and well-priced.”
The company released its full year results on Monday following an announcement last week that they would be delayed.
It had stated that matters had arisen which were not of a financial or audit nature and necessitated a delay in announcement of the annual results at the time.
ADvTECH reported revenue growth of nine per cent to 1.9 billion rand for the full year and a 16 per cent increase in operating profit.
Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 17 per cent to 340.8 million rand from 291.6 million rand for the same period in 2013.
The company’s basic earnings per share increased by seven per cent to 41.4 cents from 38.6 cents.