Old Mutual has won its case against axed CEO Peter Moyo, with a full bench of the high court upholding its appeal and finding the insurer had lawfully dismissed him.
The ruling was handed down by the Johannesburg High court on Tuesday morning. Old Mutual has been locked in a dispute with Moyo since it suspended him in May 2019 in relation to an alleged conflict of interest.
He was fired in June then temporarily reinstated by the courts in July in a ruling that also blocked the insurer from seeking a replacement. However, he was unable to return to work while Old Mutual appealed the decision.
The decision was a much-needed victory for Old Mutual, whose shares have fallen more than 10% since his initial suspension in May. The ruling sent the group's shares up as much as 5.1% to R19.90, on track for its best one-day performance in more than two months.
Speaking to journalists after the verdict, Moyo said: "We are still studying the judgement... There is a very, very good chance that we are actually going to appeal," while his lawyer added he would proceed with a longer case against his dismissal, in which Moyo is seeking permanent reinstatement or damages.
A spokesperson for Old Mutual said it was vindicated, and was free to now seek a new CEO.