Eskom shortlists three candidates for top job

By Loni Prinsloo and Paul Burkhardt

(Bloomberg) – South African power company Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. has shortlisted three candidates for chief executive officer to lead the loss-making utility out of its debt crisis, according to three people familiar with the process.

Andy Calitz, who started his career as an electrical engineer at Eskom, made the cut, according to two of the people who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public. Another is former CEO Jacob Maroga, one of the people said. They didn’t identify the third person on the list.

Eskom has amassed R450bn ($29.9bn) of debt and is seen as the biggest risk to South Africa’s economy. It’s been looking for a new CEO since Phakamani Hadebe in July became the 10th person to vacate the post in as many years. Chairman Jabu Mabuza took on the role in an acting capacity until a permanent appointment is made.

Applications for the position closed on Aug. 2 and interviews were held with Eskom earlier this month. The government, Eskom’s primary shareholder, will ultimately make the appointment.

Eskom declined to comment. An announcement will be made on the appointment by Oct. 31, when the recruitment process ends, the utility said in an emailed response to questions.

Dan Marokane, Eskom’s former head of group capital, is among people who applied for the job, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said last month.

A spokeswoman for Calitz declined to comment. Maroga didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent by text message.

Neither candidate said to have made the shortlist has been involved with the utility for about a decade or longer. Eskom accepted Maroga’s offer to resign in 2010, but he claimed he’d been unlawfully dismissed and filed an unsuccessful application for reinstatement.

Calitz is a former CEO of LNG Canada who started his career at Eskom and later held various senior posts at Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

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