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Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder resigns to take up top job in Australia

Group appoints Bertina Engelbrecht as its first black female CEO, with her appointment being effective from January next year.
Image: Supplied

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.

Vikesh Ramsunder. Image: Clicks website

Read: Italtile CEO Jan Potgieter to retire and emigrate

“Bertina Engelbrecht [58], 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.

Incoming Clicks CEO Bertina Engelbrecht. Image: Clicks website

“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.

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There goes another outstanding talent. Sigh …

As an outstanding CEO of a South African company, when you receive a opportunity like this, you have to ask yourself what will South Africa under the ANC look like in the next 10 to 15 years. Then the decision is easy.

Goodluck! Well done!

Many would take up the opportunity to move on from SA.

We have mad hatters/idiots/lunatics (ANC) running an Asylum here.
Cyril is not our Saviour!

Good luck sir! Why would anyone with tertiary qualifications and top managerial experience wish to work in a crime infested, labour union controlled country (where the government insists on constantly meddling in business decisions, who to employ and at what level, etc.)? The “hair incident” probably tipped the scales (on third world vs first world residency).

“pleased to appoint Bertina as first black female” blah blah blah.
Why is Corporate SA so obsessed with race?
What shareholders want to know is that she has been chosen because she is the best person for the job.
If she is, then well done, and good luck.
If not, well……..

Fairly heartfelt comments -my sympathies – all understandable comments about the negative situation. Although I left South Africa in the mid eighties for – ha – convict-territory (to terminate repeated diversions for Volk en Vaderland which resulted in loss of life and limb for some of my compadres) – ZA is still a marvellous country with incredible people and we have ended up with a reasonably thriving business in education in ZA and try and make a contribution here. I believe one has to try and stay positive and to do your own thing, to think globally whether you are in ZA or Oz and perhaps to be somewhat stoical about conditions and events. Otherwise you will go stark staring mad.

End of comments.

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