Bader SA, Seton AutoLeather SA changes
'No intention to downgrade South African subsidiaries'
Bader SA and Seton AutoLeather SA, the two biggest automotive leather tanneries in the country, have both appointed new MDs recently. In both cases, the outgoing MDs were not South African, while the incoming MDs are.
Given the reduction and expected further reduction in automotive leather business in South Africa, African Leather asked both companies whether this represented a downgrading of the local subsidiaries. No disrespect to either new MD was intended.
“This is the strategy at many of our international production plants,” said new Bader SA GM: manufacturing, sales & marketing, Robert O’Connell. “Our South African facility is in no means downgraded. We are currently one of the biggest plants in the Bader Group and do not foresee this changing very soon.”
Said outgoing Seton AutoLeather SA MD Eric Evans: “No, this is in no way a lessening of import of South Africa to GST. [New MD] Shalen [Sewnandan] has been a high potential employee for some time. The assignments he has had over the last five years have increased in responsibility all in preparation of his assuming a senior role with the company. He has run plants in the Americas and been responsible for significant programme launches in the Americas as well. The fact that the Global CFO position opened up unexpectedly for me did accelerate Shalen’s promotion by probably six-nine months, but it was targeted to happen regardless of what position I ultimately assumed. Shalen is a very talented manager with broad experience in operations, quality, customer support and overall business management. He will report to our President for the global group just as I did. SA remains a very important part of our global strategy and Shalen will pick up where I left off being active in JALI in support of strengthening the automotive tanning industry in the RSA through initiatives with the DTI.”
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