Vikesh Ramsunder, CEO of SA’s largest pharmacy and health retail group, has resigned and will be emigrating to Australia to take up a top job at a yet unnamed listed company there.
This was confirmed by Clicks in a JSE Sens advisory to the market and shareholders on Thursday morning.
The group said Ramsunder’s resignation will take effect on December 31, 2021, however, he will continue as a strategic advisor to Clicks group until August 31, 2022.
“Bertina Engelbrecht , currently the group corporate affairs director, has been appointed as CEO from January 1, 2022,” Clicks added.
Engelbrecht joined Clicks in 2006 as group human resources director and was appointed as an executive director in 2008.
In December 2020, her portfolio was expanded to include strategic stakeholder engagement.
“I am leaving Clicks Group and South Africa with a heavy heart. It has been an honour to lead Clicks and to have been part of such a dynamic and transformed business which has presented me with career-defining opportunities,” Ramsunder said in a statement.
He is credited for entrenching Clicks and United Pharmaceutical Distributors’s (UPD) lead in the market and for championing transformation within the group. Under his leadership as CEO, the group has expanded its retail presence to 841 stores and 621 pharmacies.
“In this three-year period the group’s share price has increased by 60% and the market capitalisation on the JSE has risen from R48 billion to R75 billion, despite markets being severely impacted by Covid-19,” Clicks said.
“Vikesh has demonstrated outstanding leadership as CEO over the past three years and has led the group through several challenges in recent times, most notably through the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Clicks chairman David Nurek.
“Vikesh has built a strong executive leadership team and we are confident in its ability to maintain the current momentum in the business. We are sorry to say goodbye to Vikesh and wish him well as he makes this international career move,” Nurek added.
Engelbrecht, meanwhile, will become the first black female to lead a listed retail group in the country.
“Being appointed CEO of a company of the stature of Clicks Group is a privilege and I thank the board for their confidence and support in entrusting me to lead the company,” she said of her appointment.
“Clicks is on a sustained growth trajectory thanks largely to the quality of the highly experienced executive team and I look forward to leading this strong team from January next year,” Engelbrecht added.
“We are pleased to appoint Bertina as the first black female to lead a listed retail group in South Africa. She has been part of the executive leadership team for the past 15 years and been integrally involved in the development of the group’s strategy and growth of the business over this time,” Nurek said.