Central Gauteng Lions president Madiseng defends Leaf-Wright's appointment as CEO

02 September 2019 - 18:02 By Telford Vice
Cathy Qama of KFC with Jack Madiseng of GCB during the 2nd KFC T20 International match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Cathy Qama of KFC with Jack Madiseng of GCB during the 2nd KFC T20 International match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Central Gauteng Lions (CGL) president Jack Madiseng has defended the appointment of Jono Leaf-Wright as the organisation’s new chief executive.

Leaf-Wright will succeed Greg Fredericks on October 1 despite his apparent lack of qualifications and experience in high-level administration.

Fredericks‚ 65‚ previously served as a chief director in the sport ministry and was head of legacy programmes for the 2010 football World Cup while Leaf-Wright‚ 37‚ has a background in junior and mid-level coaching.

Leaf-Wright’s appointment has been welcomed in various avenues‚ but critics claim it owes much to his existing relationships within the game.

Asked on Thursday to provide details of Leaf-Wright’s relevant qualifications and experience‚ Madiseng said: “The advert stated that the potential candidate should meet several of the requirements and not all the requirements.”

In fact‚ the advertisement reads‚ “Applicants will need to meet several of the following requirements.”

Those are listed as: “A post-graduate degree in business management‚ business administration‚ sports management or a related field with a minimum of five years’ experience‚ or bachelor’s degree with 10 years of senior management experience (sports development‚ marketing‚ contract analysis‚ negotiations‚ finance and general management);

“Successful track record in leadership of a profitable unit/department or not-for-profit organisation;

“Demonstrated success in strategic planning‚ board development‚ and donor cultivation‚ experience in financial analysis;

“Sound understanding of cricket‚ its organisations and its structure and management and a sound understanding of the CSA (Cricket South Africa) vision‚ goals‚ objectives‚ rules‚ policies and procedures.”

Leaf-Wright has a level three coaching certificate‚ has worked in private academies‚ is a Cricket South Africa schools scout for Gauteng and has been on the coaching staff of Indian Premier League outfit Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Would he or had he cut ties with the companies he has been involved with to avoid conflicts of interest? “We’ve given Jono a declaration form to fill out all his conflicted business which is currently being looked at by our audit and risk committee to ensure governance compliance‚” Madiseng said.

Other applicants for the CGL chief executive’s post have extensive experience in the areas specified above‚ so what made Leaf-Wright stand out?

“We live in the world where people possess great entrepreneurial spirit and have influenced the world in a very significant way‚” Madiseng said.

“A number of very successful people in the world have done great things without necessarily obtaining a formal qualification‚ although advantageous to have. As a progressive board‚ we recognised this and we didn’t want to limit the requirements to a post graduate degree.

“All the candidates went through rigorous process and Mr Leaf-Wright’s track record made him a successful candidate based on the type of individual the board wanted. One of the strongest requirements was that the board was looking for someone with commercial acumen and skill with prominent and diverse business networks that could benefit [CGL] and we found this person in Jono.”

When Fredericks landed the position in October 2013‚ applications had been scored 25% on “qualification and experience”‚ 25% on “strategic and executive leadership skills and experience”‚ 20% on “change management and conflict resolution”‚ 20% on “public relations and media management”‚ and 10% on the candidate’s transformation credentials.

Fredericks has a masters degree in education and at least three of his rivals six years ago held MBAs and were‚ like him‚ experienced in administration at a significant level.

Leaf-Wright’s attributes did not stack up in those terms and a source with no vested interested in the matter said: “The politics in this appointment are so blatant. (Leaf-Wright) has zero corporate or financial experience.

“I’d like to see his business plan and how he plans to make CGL financially stable‚ and what his plans are to increase revenue generation during his tenure.”

Leaf-Wright has previously referred questions put to him to the CGL.

Source: TMG Digital.