The movers and shakers that made headlines this year


From early retirements, to new companies, to CEOs, these were the top movers for the year.

When current Clicks Group CFO Michael Fleming (featured) announced his early retirement, Gordon Traill was announced as his successor. Gordon will take on the new role from 1 January 2023.

Gordon joined Clicks Group in 2006 as head of internal audit. He is currently the chief of support services at Clicks and is responsible for the company’s supply chain, retail distribution centres, property and information technology. He serves as a member of the Clicks executive committee.

Read more: Gordon Traill to take over as Clicks Group CFO

For Zaf Mahomed, Oceana Group CFO designate, the move to the CFO position comes after two senior executives resigned. He will assume his position on 1 February 2023.

Zaf joins the group from Cell C, where he was responsible for the turnaround and recapitalisation of the telecom. Before that, he was the CFO tasked with the turnaround of McDonald’s South Africa.

Read more: Oceana group gets a new CFO

Following Zaf’s departure, telecommunication company Cell C appointed Lerato Pule as their CFO in September.

Prior to joining Cell C, Lerato was the CFO of Telkom’s SME segment. She served as the company’s executive of finance enablement for two years before that, and as an executive finance business partner for its corporate segment in 2016.

According to the company, Lerato is playing an important role as Cell C charts a new course.

Read more: Lerato Pule becomes Cell C’s CFO


New to banking is Grant Hardy, CFO of CapitecBbank, following the retirement of Andre du Plessis who took early retirement after being part of the team that founded Capitec in 2000.

Grant explained that his first course of action in the new role will be to ensure the bank continues to unlock the full potential of all its people and teams.

“I am a firm believer that if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together. From what I have seen over the years, the talent at Capitec can take us incredibly far,” he said.”

Read more: Grant Hardy looks forward to further driving Capitec’s impact as its new CFO

When founding Capitec, Andre’s plan was to open a bank for people who didn’t have access to financial services. “One could say that starting Capitec Bank was adventurous,” he said in an earlier interview with CFO South Africa. “It was extremely scary. It was very difficult, because everything we did was new.”

During his time as the CFO of Capitec, he managed to garner two out of the 10 awards presented at the CFO Awards in 2019 – the Compliance & Governance Award, and the Finance & Technology Award. He was also awarded the CFO of the Year at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards by CNBC Africa in 2019.

Read more: Andre Du Plessis refocuses his life

On the public sector front, the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) office appointed Polani Sokombela as their CFO in March this year.

For Polani, the transition has been likened to a baptism of fire: “It was quite hectic at the time, but it was exciting to be given the opportunity to oversee the finances of the organisation and to ensure its financial sustainability,” Polani explained.

Polani has been with the AGSA since 2007, when he joined the regulator as an assistant audit manager. He has climbed his way through the ranks, serving as a technical audit manager, senior manager and business executive before taking on his current role.

Read more: Transition to CFO is a baptism of fire for Polani also appointed Kyle Paulsen as its head of finance, after he served as a financial manager for the company from 2019.

“The last three years in the Takealot group have been exciting, eventful and a phenomenal growth experience. I am looking forward to continuing the journey,” Kyle said.

Read more: Kyle promoted to CFO at Takealot

On the travel front, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) appointed Averen Deonanan as its new CFO. He will be replacing Euan McNeil, who was promoted to managing director of the group in November 2021.

Averen joins from outside the industry, and will initially be aiming to gain a deep knowledge of the business, travel industry and the various macro-economic factors influencing the business.

Read more: Averen Deonanan excited to be joining Flight Centre Travel Group as new CFO

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