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Meet the new boss of Afrox

He admits gas and engineering are new areas for him.

Tjaart Kruger (47) will take the helm at Afrox, one of the JSE’s best-performing companies on March 1.

This is a major departure for the chartered accountant, who currently heads up the grain division of Tiger Brands. Kruger also has a number of group responsibilities, for instance overseeing logistics, purchasing and manufacturing processes.

“I have not been an accountant only. I had ten years in general management and ran the poultry division of Tiger for some ten years. I was also in the health-care division before taking over the grains division, which turns over some R5bn.”

Although he is a senior executive, Kruger is not an executive director of Tiger Brands. He looks forward to the wider responsibility of running a listed Afrox and is undaunted about Afrox’s performance as a top performer and the big shoes he fills after Pieter Joubert and Rick Hogben.

Kruger will work alongside Hogben for all of March until the latter steps down.

“There are excellent people there who understand the business completely. The economy is growing and prospects for the sector are outstanding.”

After the retirement of Roy Smither last year and Haydn Franklin and Mike Norris next month, Tiger will have only three executive directors – CEO Nick Dennis, CFO Noel Doyle and director Clive Vaux.

Kruger admits he has little experience of either gas or engineering but hopes he will be able to contribute experience and leadership. He says it is too early to outline any plans other than to say restoring adequate supplies of carbon dioxide is a priority.

Kruger was approached to be a candidate in the race by headhunters. Extensive interviews were held in a competitive race including one with the Chairman Kent Masters of BOC/Lindee. A number of inside candidates were considered for the position but Kruger got the nod after interviews by two non-executive directors and the chairman. Hogben says noses are not out of joint among the overlooked insiders.

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