JOHANNESBURG – South African insurer Old Mutual sacked its former chief executive for a second time on Thursday and said it would continue to fight his attempts to get reinstated, despite a court ruling overturning his original dismissal.
Old Mutual fired Peter Moyo in June in relation to a conflict of interest, but the High Court ruled last month he should be temporarily reinstated – a decision the insurer is seeking to appeal.
In an open letter to shareholders who are growing frustrated with an increasingly messy public battle that has knocked the 173-year-old insurer’s reputation, the company’s board said it would explore all reasonable alternative options but it could not have Moyo back at the helm.
“A continued employment relationship between Mr. Moyo and Old Mutual is untenable,” the letter, published on Thursday, said.
“For this reason, Old Mutual has now given Mr. Moyo a further notice terminating his employment,” the letter read.
The company’s shares, which have lost over 15% since Moyo was first suspended in May, were flat at 0707 GMT.
Moyo’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, described the open letter as “corporate madness”, and said Old Mutual directors – who Moyo has applied to have declared delinquent – were protecting themselves rather than the company.
“Somebody needs to intervene to save Old Mutual from itself and its directors,” he said, adding the purpose of the second employment termination notice while the legal case was ongoing was unclear.