“You’re fired Abel” – then comes the awkward pause as AOL CEO jacks creative director in staff conference call

The media industry is a tough place right now. Many of its chief executives have become somewhat less humane. But the chief executive of AOL, Tim Armstrong, raised the bar to a new level when addressing around 1 000 staff on his group’s struggling hyper-local publishing business Patch. During the discussion he noticed that Patch’s … Read more

Nedbank’s special R700m bad debt knock suggests a tough reporting season for other banks through unsecured lending, First Strut

Executives at all the other major SA banks are taking a very close look at Nedbank’s interims released yesterday. There were messages and challenges aplenty – not just to rivals but also those who own banking shares. Abil and Capitec are sure to face even tougher questions about the level of their provisions; FirstRand and … Read more

Have Aliens occupied my President’s brain? Zuma “profoundly congratulates” Mugabe? On monumental election fraud?

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from the South African Presidency. No big deal in that.  I’m one of many on the mailing list. What wrenched the gut was its content. President Jacob Zuma, the official missive stated, offers his “profound congratulations” to Zimbabwean counterpart HE Robert Mugabe and “urges” Zimbabweans to “accept the outcome.” So … Read more

book

Memories of Mildenhall shooting, Noseweek’s rival, reignited via Agliotti biography

book

Like anything that’s hidden, many rational beings are fascinated by the economics of crime. But even when the objective is to learn, the truth can be hard to digest. Especially when perpetrators walk free. As is the case with the subject of the latest book on the subject, crime boss Glenn Agliotti.

Read moreMemories of Mildenhall shooting, Noseweek’s rival, reignited via Agliotti biography

gumede

Cigar butt or a Havana? Stay out until Kaplan again calls “Buy Gijimia”

gumede

 Gijima founder and chairman Robert Gumede is a real charmer. He showed that again after my late morning call yesterday. I rang to follow up on a shock SENS announcement that his closest business associate, Carlos Ferreira, had left the building. Within a few minutes Gumede had rounded up his company’s interim CEO, cleared their diaries, jumped in his car and sped through from Pretoria to join me in Sandton for CNBC Power Lunch.

Read moreCigar butt or a Havana? Stay out until Kaplan again calls “Buy Gijimia”

Mike Wylie

Surfer chairman of WBHO: construction has cleaned up its act, ready to build

Mike Wylie

WBHO chairman Mike Wylie is not your average corporate executive. He has been with the company 38 years, lives modestly and eschews Plett and Cape Town to holiday annually in lower profile St Francis Bay. Even at 62, he prefers surfing to wining and dining; and his idea of an ideal night out is a movie with wife Wendy. Wylie loves building things and believes his firm does it damn well. But right now he’s in the crosshairs of an angry nation.

Read moreSurfer chairman of WBHO: construction has cleaned up its act, ready to build