Thu | Jan 24, 2019

Douglas Orane to retire from GraceKennedy board May 30

Published:Friday | March 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Douglas Orane

After serving one of Jamaica's largest conglomerates in various capacities for 36 years, former chairman and chief executive officer of GraceKennedy Limited, Douglas Orane, will formally retire from the board of directors, effective May 30, 2018.

The decision is in keeping with Orane's previously stated intention to gradually reduce participation on corporate boards in order to spend more time with his family, as well as on philanthropic work, particularly in education and entrepreneurship by young people, GraceKennedy said in a release.

Professor Gordon Shirley, chairman of GraceKennedy, said Orane's outstanding service to the conglomerate and the country has been invaluable.

"Douglas has made a solid contribution to shaping and strengthening the governance structure of the board," Professor Shirley said.

"He is a really outstanding leader and we are going to miss having him as a member of the board, but we are equally happy that he will be devoting more time to developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders," the chairman added.

Group CEO Don Wehby regards Orane as a visionary leader who played a pivotal role in the growth and development of GraceKennedy.

"Douglas Orane is a master strategist. I learnt a great deal from him when we worked together at GraceKennedy and he was instrumental in shaping my career. I have always admired his commitment to country and willingness to give young people a chance. I consider him my mentor, confidant and friend. He is truly the brother that I never had," said Wehby.

Orane gives back to society by volunteering as a mentor to young entrepreneurs; giving service to his alma mater, the Wolmer's schools; highlighting the importance of the youth as patron of Child Month; offering fundraising workshops for schools throughout Jamaica; participating in seminars dedicated to transformational organisational change; and is a regular donor to Food For The Poor.

In recent years, he has been investing in start-up companies established by young entrepreneurs, colloquially called angel investing.

"I have had the pleasure and privilege of leading GraceKennedy as CEO and providing guidance as a member of the board for over 30 years. I am now 70 years old, and although I am not quite yet at the age of mandatory retirement of 72 years, I had always stated that at this stage of my life I wanted to serve our community in other ways," Orane said.

"Leadership through corporate entities is valuable, and has a role to play in Jamaica's development. However, I would now like to use my time in an even more deliberate way to support and develop our young people," he added.

"In addition, in today's changing world, it is my personal philosophy that long-serving directors, such as myself, exhibit the foresight to step aside to make room for the younger generation," Orane said.

He added: "I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the board of GraceKennedy, and all of the staff. I thank the shareholders, customers and clients of GraceKennedy for their continued loyalty and confidence. It has been an honour."

Orane, an engineer, joined GraceKennedy Limited in 1981 as corporate planner and held several senior leadership positions before being appointed CEO in 1995.

In 1998, he was appointed chairman and held the position of chairman and CEO until his retirement in 2011, when he assumed the transitional position of executive chairman, a position on which he served until June 30, 2012. He served as non-executive chairman of the board from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013.

Orane retired from the chairmanship of the board of First Global Bank in September 2017.