Dec 29 , 2018

The board of the Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise, the state printing press giant, dismissed Teka Abadi, CEO of the Enterprise, effective Friday, December 29, 2018.

The board of the Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise, the state printing press giant, dismissed Teka Abadi, CEO of the Enterprise, effective Friday, December 29, 2018.

Chaired by Worku Guangual, state minister for Good Governance at the Office of the Prime Minister, the board appointed Shitawhun Wale, deputy executive officer in charge of the printing division at the Enterprise, as acting CEO.

The dismissal of Teka was authorised by the board during a two-hour meeting. The meeting, which started at 8:00am in the morning, concluded with a vote to dismiss Teka, who was accused of failing to restore industrial harmony at the Enterprise and for implementing an authoritarian administration.

Following continuous complaints lodged by employees over two years, the board, which has been chaired by Kebede Chane, started reviewing and investigating the case, according to a board member who commented on the condition of anonymity.

However, the recent move to resolve the issue began on December 15, 2018, when a meeting between the board and some employees was first held. During the meeting, the employees raised concerns and issues against the CEO including firing employees without cause, improperly hiring employees with personal connections and illegal procurements.

A second meeting was held on December 22, 2018, where the board and the management of the company met. During the meeting, over three-fourths of the management raised their concern about Teka, according to people who attended the meeting. The meeting was adjourned until December 29, 2018 when the board passed a final decision.

Teka said he is not totally informed about the board's decision.

"There is no evidence that supports the allegations against me, including failure to maintain industrial peace and poor management," Teka told Fortune.

Teka mentioned that he has achieved various things in his tenure including the establishment of a printing training centre, starting the printing of 11 different textbooks for grades 7-12, increasing sales revenue and profit, adaptation of the International Financial Reporting System (IFRS) for accounting and ensuring various benefit packages were created for employees.

Teka was appointed CEO in 2013, after working at Artistic Printing Enterprise for a decade, replacing Muluworq G. Hiwot, who had led the company for over two decades. Before joining Artistic, he served for a decade and a half as administrative director for Commercial Printing Enterprise.

A graduate of Asmera University in foreign language and literature studies, he also attended the United Kingdom Open University where he earned a master’s degree in business administration.

Established in 1922 as the first modern printing press in Ethiopia during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, Berhanena Selam's paid-up capital has reached 1.5 billion Br. In 1965, the company built its present head office and printing press in Arat Kilo. The printing press has expanded its services by constructing a new seven-storey building as a training centre, which was inaugurated two years ago at the 95th jubilees anniversary of the Enterprise.

Operating under the Public Enterprises Holding & Administration Agency, the Enterprise reported 138.1 million Br in net profit during the past fiscal year, declining by 28.4 million Br from two years ago. The company has three branches, six sales offices and holds 40pc of market share in the country. The company imports 85pc of its raw material and publishes both print media products and security documents.

PUBLISHED ON Dec 29,2018 [ VOL 19 , NO 974]

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