CEO Today - Africa Awards 2023

South Africa | 75 Dr. John Wentzel is a global business leader with a portfolio spanning over two decades. His career is a testament to his astute leadership, strategic prowess, and unparalleled dedication to reshaping the business world. Dr. Wentzel stands at the forefront of strategic execution, having mastered his craft in multiple blue-chip companies across various industries, including banking, retail, FMCG, logistics, and workforce services. He is a transformative force, respected for his ability to realign companies towards agility and unprecedented growth. With over 20 years of board-level experience across more than 20 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Australia, Dr. Wentzel’s expertise extends to executive and non-executive roles in listed, private, and state-owned companies. His current and previous board positions include entities such as Adcorp Holdings Ltd, Finteq (Pty) Ltd, Tsebo Solutions Group and various other companies. This expansive exposure has refined his strategic leadership and decision-making skills, granting him a distinguished spot in the global business world. As the current Chief Executive Officer of Adcorp Holdings Ltd, Dr Wentzel spearheads all aspects of the company’s operations across Africa and Australia. His mandate is rooted in driving shareholder and stakeholder value through strategic development and execution, while maintaining rigorous governance and risk management. His tenure at Adcorp has been marked by formidable accomplishments such as delivering organic growth for the first time in seven years, improved working capital management, consistent dividends, and a people-centric culture that significantly increased employee engagement. JSE listed Adcorp’s purpose is enabling agile, focused and skilled workforces for the future for its clients. With 43,000 employees, contractors and assignees, Adcorp, founded 55 years ago, is Africa’s largest listed staffing provider. Adcorp offers workforce lifecycle solutions across various industry sectors, job types, and geographic regions. The Adcorp group of companies operates in Africa and Australia and seeks to connect human potential and positively contribute to the people, communities and economies within which It operates. Previously, Dr Wentzel held pivotal positions at the Tsebo Solutions Group, where his resilient leadership saw the company’s international operations through the challenging COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Wentzel’s earlier experiences bear testimony to his ability to drive growth amidst declining trends. His journey in business leadership commenced in engineering at Unilever Plc. Since then, he has held many roles from Commercial Executive to Operations Director and Chief Information Officer at prominent companies such as Tiger Foods, Woolworths, and SABMiller. Dr Wentzel’s achievements are not restricted to the boardroom. An ardent advocate for education, he has published multiple papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and contributed significantly to academia as a lecturer in the GIBS MBA program and supervising Masters and Doctoral students. Furthermore, he has lent his expertise to advisory boards of esteemed institutions like the Faculty of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pretoria. He also served as a fellow of GIBS’s Centre for African Markets and Marketing and at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. With a PhD in Industrial Systems from the University of Pretoria, an M.Sc in Nuclear Physics from the University of Cape Town, and numerous other qualifications, Dr. Wentzel is undeniably a paragon of academic excellence. His formidable credentials and leadership acumen firmly position him as a thought leader. Dr Wentzel’s professional profile embodies sustainable achievement and purpose-driven leadership in a world of fleeting success. He epitomises an accomplished leader, proving that a steadfast commitment to excellence and lifelong learning can propel one to their profession’s pinnacle. “His career is a testament to his astute leadership, strategic prowess, and unparalleled dedication to reshaping the business world.”

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