Instead of a payout deal from Old Mutual Limited (OML), previously suspended chief executive Peter Moyo has now got the axe. In an update to stakeholders, the African insurer has lifted the lid on the sacking.
The separation stemmed from a supposed conflict of interest involving investment firm NMT Capital, which Moyo founded, and concerns over declarations of ordinary dividends.
“The board has not been provided with an acceptable explanation why, in clear contravention of the relevant preference share agreement with Old Mutual as well as Mr Moyo’s employment obligations, ordinary dividends were declared while debt to Old Mutual was outstanding,” stated OML. “On May 23, 2019 the board discussed these matters at length and considered its options, noting its duties towards its stakeholders. The board came to the conclusion that there was a material breakdown in trust and confidence in Mr Moyo.
“After reaching this conclusion and in the course of May 23 the board engaged with Mr Moyo regarding the possibility of an agreed separation, but no agreement could be reached on this. The board decided that in the circumstances it was appropriate to suspend Mr Moyo. This was announced on May 24, 2019.”
At the time the CEO denied any wrongdoing.
His now former employer added: “Mr Moyo’s actions since the suspension contravened his fiduciary duties to Old Mutual, his contract of employment, and his notice of suspension. Following unsuccessful attempts to engage on the terms of separation, the board has now resolved to give notice of termination of employment.”
Meanwhile a Reuters report cited Moyo’s lawyer as saying that the fired chief will “challenge Old Mutual’s conduct in court.”