Knowledge Center: Video

Boards & Governance

What CEOs learn from board roles: An interview with Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, vice chancellor and principal of the University of Johannesburg and NED at Nedbank

4/14/2021 Veronique Parkin

For our video series, “What CEOs learn from board roles,” Heidrick & Struggles’ Véronique Parkin speaks with Tshilidzi Marwala, professor, vice chancellor, and principal of the University of Johannesburg and non-executive director at Nedbank, one of the four largest banks in South Africa, about how his view of leadership is changing in response to his experiences in the boardroom. Marwala, also a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, talks about what surprised him moving to the board of a bank—his first time working in such a highly regulated environment. He discusses the benefits of his role, which include being exposed to people who think differently, gaining a new perspective on how to handle crises, and how various organizations are strategizing for the future of work post-COVID-19, as well as the differences between how diversity and inclusion goals are handled in the university environment as opposed to on the board of a company.

Véronique Parkin ( is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Johannesburg office and a member of the CEO & Board Practice.