EOH Holdings said two of its founders resigned in a boardshake because CEO Stephen van Coller is racing counter-clockwise to restructure the South African technology company and calm investors and financiers.
The exodus, in which four of the seven directors of EOH stopped, comes on the day that the members had to be elected again at the annual general meeting of the Johannesburg-based company.
It also comes after an anonymous complaint that prompted Microsoft to cancel a contract abruptly, causing the shares to plummet.
Chairman Asher Bohbot, the CEO of the office for 19 years, will resign at the end of this month and continue to work as a consultant until July 31, EOH said in a statement.
The other sailings include Rob Sporen, also one of the founders of EOH, Tshilidzi Marwala, a non-executive director who served on the board for eleven years, and Tebogo Maenetja, the director of human resources, who leaves at the end of April. .
"EOH refreshes the plate," said spokesman Debbie Millar by telephone. "The board members who are leaving have been there for many years" and new directors are appointed at the end of March.
The stock shifted no less than 11% before the losses were compensated to trade 4.2% lower by 09:28 local time Wednesday. That expands its losses to 55% this year, the biggest slump in the 164-member South African all-share index.
Van Coller, a former manager at Absa Group and MTN Group, was brought in last year to transform the problematic business. He plans to break the company in several parts, so that investors can see the full value of EOH, which consists of more than 270 companies.
EOH said in July that the company would be split into two independent units, with its information, communications and technology company operating under EOH and the new NEXTEC brand focusing on industries such as renewable energy, health and water treatment technology.
The banker brings the company closer to a code of good governance known as King IV, which recommends term limits for directors and that a former CEO should not act as chairman until after a cooling-off period of three years.
Bohbot returned as chairman when Sandile Zungu resigned after more than four years in the position in March last year.
EOH shares have been in hiding since Microsoft ended its association with the South African company. The Johannesburg TechCentral website reported that the claims of a whistleblower about a software deal with a South African government were behind the decision of the American software giant.