Henley Business School Africa has participated in a CEO for a Day initiative, a global campaign that lets MBA business school students from Gauteng and the Western Cape walk in the shoes of some of South Africa’s leading CEOs in the private sector across various industries. 

“Students gain first-hand experience in understanding the level of responsibility that executives hold and how they create value for their organisations,” says Jon Foster-Pedley, dean of Henley Business School Africa.

“The initiative, run by Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa, gives key lessons in what it really takes to be a CEO, developing characteristics such as resilience, tenacity and how to get the most out of people.”

Leon Ayo, CEO of Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa, said students go through a rigorous recruitment process, including online assessments and face-to-face interviews with consultants from Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa. During this process, students are given feedback on their interview and presentation skills.
From this process, 10 of the top candidates are selected to spend the day with their respective CEO, providing a unique chance to learn about the backgrounds, career paths, concerns and motivations of today’s CEOs.

CEOs in turn have the chance to get to grips with the challenges and opportunities that potential future employees and future leaders face and to develop a better understanding of what some of the student’s expectations are when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder.

Participating CEOs were Mike Quinn of Zoona; Esther Benjamin of Monash South Africa; Doug Smart of KFC; Jonty Jankovich-Besan of I&J; David Kneale of Clicks Group; Mel Brooks of G4S; Soraya Zoueihed of British American Tobacco; Albertinah Kekana of Royal Bafokeng Holdings; Sandro Weber of Lindt South Africa; Jonathan Horn of Maersk Line; and Wayne De Nobrega of Tracker South Africa.