Hubris characterises African Bank boss Kirkinis, Myburgh Commission says. (2016)
“Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities
BusinessDay Live, Business / Financial Services, 12 May 2016
Picture Russell Roberts
Former African Bank CEO Leon Kirkinis believed that he was right and everyone else on the board of African Bank was wrong, Judge John Myburgh has found in his report on African Bank.
(Judge Myburgh ran the commission of inquiry into the bank’s 2014 multibillion-rand collapse. The commission’s report was released on Thursday 12 May 2016.)
In his criticism of Mr Kirkinis’s management style, Judge Myburgh said the word “hubris” came to mind.
“Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power,” the commission said.
In another article in the same publication, Kirkinis was described as “extremely charismatic”, “very amicable”, hands-on, and likeable. His personality enabled him to talk people around when they raised objections to his decisions. Kirkinis was right, others were wrong, and most believed it, including himself.
….(his) positivity was required of those around him too. In the February before the bank collapsed in August, he e-mailed a large group of employees.
“We need to find ways to lift the spirits and the energy of the people we lead and grow our unique culture positively,” he said. “Our people need to be led by a committed leadership team that is united in our purpose. Neutrality is not an option.”
Kirkinis’s optimism-by-fiat approach is nauseating. What African Bank needed was some good old-fashioned banking values that emphasised prudence.
Read the news article here: Hubris characterises African Bank boss Kirkinis
Read the backgrounder here: ON THE MONEY: CEOs’ hubris, the root cause leading to African Bank and Regal’s ruin