CEO Today - Africa Awards 2023

10 | Country Mr Mokoena, thank you for joining us today. Could you start by sharing a bit about your journey to becoming the CEO of BDO South Africa ? It has been quite a journey and an adventure. And, on reflection, I am mindful of the impact my career trajectory has had on people here in South Africa and across the continent, often without even realising what it represents in people’s lives. My route has taken me across private practice, JSE-listed business and public sector experience, from accountancy and audit to financial services, such as Old Mutual and AlexForbes, across a variety of African jurisdictions. Now, I have to some extent come full circle into my role as the first black African CEO at BDO South Africa - a global audit, advisory and tax advice provider, with a huge network, comprising over 111,000 people across 164 countries, with seven offices and 2,135 people right here in South Africa. As the CEO of BDO South Africa, what are your primary goals for the organisation, and how have your experiences in both the public and private sectors influenced these? Firstly, at a macro level, BDO is wholeheartedly committed to ensuring the revival of our industry. Confidence has been knocked and BDO is determined, through the pledges of our Clarity Charter and our brand positioning, to regain that trust. Our relationships with key regulators such as the Office of the Auditor-General and IRBA reinforce this commitment. In this context, we see ourselves as a challenger brand, a brand that has set itself some bold strategic targets for the next 5-7 years. At the heart of that strategy is the quality imperative. Being clear is one thing; consistently delivering quality audits, advisory and tax advice is another. And we have instituted a companywide programme called Project SiyaKhula to ensure that our eye is always on quality, across the board. Another imperative I see as essential is how we attract talent – diverse and innovative talent – to our firm and our industry. We have not always been a welcoming place in that regard and I am committed to changing that. The transformation of our leadership is also critical – and that is happening right now – but the shift to providing a truly inclusion-driven workplace must occur throughout the business. In my experience in both the public and private sectors, these are the critical factors that will help us elevate our brand. With a vast range of experiences in sectors such as transport, financial services, investment, and energy, how do you adapt your leadership style to different business contexts? I see myself as a servant leader, whose role I believe to be primarily that of stewarding resources and teaching leaders to serve others while still achieving the goals of the business. Some of the principles of a servant leader that are meaningful to me are: listening; empathy; awareness; persuasion; foresight; stewardship; commitment to the growth of people and the profession; strengthening the economy and building community. “We are determined to create a more visible BDO and this is reflected in our growth strategy” “In summary, I am committed to making BDO a safe haven for diverse trainees and employees – more women, more people of colour.” 10 | South Africa

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