Dubai: After serving as acting CEO through some highly charged months, Michael Davis has finally been confirmed in a full-time capacity at Abu Dhabi’s NMC Healthcare. It comes after playing a decisive role in securing more time from NMC’s lenders for a turnaround to happen and working closely with consultants from Alvarez & Marsal, who were appointed as administrators.
“Confirming Davis was the obvious thing to do – along with the guys at A&M, he’s best placed to script NMC’s next course of action,” said a banker who worked closely with Davis since March. “He brings tremendous goodwill, and he’s shown he can deliver through the toughest months from March until now.”
During that phase, he had to ensure NMC’s day-to-day operations were running effectively enough to handle the COVID-19 crisis. At another level, he had to get a grip on the near weekly round of fresh – and troubling – revelations about willful diversion of $4 billion plus in bank loans under the previous management.
Worst of times
Davis had joined NMC in 2015 - after it acquired ProVita International Medical Centre, where he was the CEO - and was handed the chief operating officer's role in 2017. But his elevation to the acting CEO’s role in February would not have been imagined possible by anyone at the beginning of this year. It was in December last that the first revelations of financial mismanagement was implied by US financial services firm Muddy Waters.
At the time, the then NMC CEO Prasanth Manghat dismissed it as nothing more than a nuisance, but subsequent revelations proved it was anything but that. Manghat departed, and the then board of directors immediately assigned Davis the acting CEO’s role. He also automatically joined the reconstituted board of directors.
Michael’s leadership has been instrumental in seeing the organization through a very tumultuous year as the company faced financial and legal issues, as well as operational and clinical challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ben Cairns, Joint Administrator in a note on Davis’ confirmation.