By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
HealthPlus Limited has explained the decision of the board in the restructuring of the management of the Company
In a release to LEADERSHIP by the Company said, “The majority of the Board of HealthPlus, issued an instruction terminating, for cause, the appointment of former CEO Mrs Bukky George and asking Mr Chidi Okoro to provide interim leadership for the Company as its new Chief Transformation Officer (CTO).”
The Company said this difficult decision was made in full compliance with Nigerian law and following a long and drawn-out process of engagement, through which the Board sought to address multiple issues with the way the Company was being managed.
According to the Company, George’s engagement as CEO, the Board explored a range of options that would enable her to continue to play an alternate leadership role.
“It unfortunately became clear that an amicable resolution was not going to be possible and that, as the multiple issues persisted, urgent action was required to avoid adverse impact on the entire business, including customers, employees, suppliers, and other key stakeholders.”
As a result, the Company said “The majority of the Board of Directors of the Company determined that a change of leadership was required if HealthPlus was to achieve its strategic goals and the former CEO’s appointment was terminated in accordance with its terms.
“The decision of Alta Semper Capital (ASC) to acquire majority control of HealthPlus in 2018 and its belief in the Company’s potential to become a market leader, not just in Nigeria, but across the continent, is a testament to the strength of the HealthPlus brand.
“That is why ASC originally invested into the business and that is why they committed to continue to invest, subject to the satisfaction of key performance targets. Although these targets were never achieved by the former CEO, ASC still sought to provide the business with financial support through growth capital.”
It stated that “Despite a pressing need for cash in the Company over the past year, George has not only refused to agree to offers of additional investment on commercially reasonable terms but attempted to force ASC to restructure the existing binding contracts governing their relationship, agreements, which she readily signed in 2018 after taking independent legal and financial advice.
“The original vision of the Company can still be achieved under new leadership and an enhanced management structure, for the benefit of all stakeholders.
“In decisions like this, the interests of the business and its employees must be put first, and that is what the Board has done. George continues to serve on the Board, while Okoro oversees the day-to-day operations of the Company.”
It further said “The majority of the Board therefore urged the media and the general public to disregard further communications from any individual or group that are contrary to the aforementioned.”
Founded in 1999, HealthPlus as Nigeria’s first integrated pharmacy platform and the largest and fastest-growing pharmacy chain in West Africa. It operates over seventy retail pharmacy and beauty care locations and is the largest private employer of pharmacists in Nigeria. Its extensive product portfolio includes Prescription-Only-Medicines, Over-the-Counter Medications, and personal care items, with a strong emphasis on local procurement and an active drive for community building