Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson will retire at the end of the year.
The company announced the news at its recent AGM and this brings an end to an illustrious career during which Basson was instrumental in the group, growing from a small eight store retail chain to a R110 billion international retail group which employs 140 000 people.
The company said in a SENS statement on Monday that Basson will remain a non-executive vice chairman to facilitate an “orderly leadership transition”.
Pieter Engelbrecht, former chief operating officer who has been with the company for 20 years, will take the reins in January next year.
According to the statement, Dr Christo Wiese, chairman of the Shoprite board, said at the AGM that: “Whitey has been a very strong and charismatic leader, who has managed the company through market transitions and challenging times, taking calculated risks to turn the supermarket group into the leading retailer on the continent.
“He accelerated the growth of the business and inter alia spearheaded Shoprite’s pioneering expansion into the rest of Africa after 1994. He also successfully acquired and integrated Grand Bazaars, Checkers and OK Bazaars. He fully deserves his reputation as one of South Africa’s ‘retail giants’.”
The statement also quotes Basson: “I have been privileged to lead the Shoprite Group from small beginnings to one of the continents’ greatest companies. After so many years with the group, it’s time to pass the baton to a new generation of leadership.”
Over the past few years Basson was also one of the best remunerated CEOs in South Africa. In the most recent financial year Basson received R100 million, mostly due to a performance bonus of R50 million on top of a basic package of R49.7 million.
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