John Smithyman

Full Name: John Harold Smithyman

Position: CEO of Weldamax

Main Activity of the Company: Weldamax supplieswelding equipment and consumables

Date and Place of Birth: February 8, Surrey, UK

Education: Michaelhouse, matric, 1978; Rhodes University, BCom, 1982; Rhodes University, CTA, 1983; CA (SA), 1984; Revans University, US, MSc (business leadership), 2004

First Job: Articled clerk at KPMG

Career History Prior to Current Position: I worked atKPMG from 1984 to 1989, ending up as audit manager; was a partner in accounting and financial accounting practice at Keith Griffiths & Associates from 1989 to 1992; spent 1993 working/holidaying in London; worked as commercial director, COO and CFO at Compass Groupbetween 1994 and 2005; and joined Wedamax as CEO in 2006

Size of First Pay Packet: R640 a month

First Job with Present Group: CEO

Value of Assets under Your Control: R150-million

Number of People under Your Leadership: 260

Management Style: Participative – I try to ask the right questions so team members can come to their own conclusion on the way forward. I also follow the objective management style, in terms of which I gather information from many sources before taking calculated risks

Personal Best Achievement: Still to come

Professional Best Achievement: Together with the procurement director at Compass, I introduced a distribution centre to replace middlemen wholesalers. This required extensive change management and interpersonal and leadership skills

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My wife, Annie

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Me

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Jacques Kallis

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Brian Joffe

Philosophy of Life: It is short – try to spend as much time as possible doing the things you want to do; the more positive you are, the more positive energy you attract; there is humour in every situation; solace in the wilderness

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Exposure to the wilderness

Biggest Ever Disappointment: My parents dying before I got to know them as real people

Hope for the Future: That our family live healthy, fulfilled lives free of excessive hardship

Favourite ReadingLouis L’amour

Favourite TV Programme: Supersport 2

Favourite Food/Drink: Mince and rice/Castle Lager

Favourite Music: Bob Seger

Favourite Sport: Hockey and golf

Favourite Website: Cricinfo

Hobbies: Wildlife, sport, watching our children play sport, watchingJacques Kallis bat

Car: Old diesel Isuzu double-cab that heads for the wilderness on autopilot

Pets: Hungry Labradors

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Taxi lawlessness, inability of government officials to see themselves as they are, drivers who drive down the emergency lane and do not queue with the rest of us, entitlement attitude, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee

Favourite Other South African Company: South African Breweries

Favourite Foreign Company: None

Married: To Annie (nee Botha)

Children: Jenna, 11; Jack, 9

Clubs: Country Club Johannesburg, Shumbas Hockey

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu

Source: Engineering news website 

Source:  Engineering news website