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Pick n Pay CEO quits suddenly as retailer racks up major losses
By our News Team | 2023
Pieter Boone steps down after a short tenure and is being replaced by Sean Summers, who was CEO until 2007.
One of South Africa’s retail industry giants, Pick n Pay, has announced a surprise change of top management, with Pieter Boone, the CEO for just two-and-a-half years, leaving and being replaced by Sean Summers. The latter was previously CEO between 1999 to 2007.
His appointment is an effort to revive the fortunes of the struggling supermarket and retail group, which recorded a significant loss in its half-year results.
Pieter Boone. Photo credit: Pick n Pay
Among its challenges are cash-strapped South African consumers who are less willing to spend, high food inflation, increased competition, and having to fund its own alternative power back-up due to a national electricity crisis in the country.
In a statement released by Pick n Pay on Monday (2 October), Gareth Ackerman, Chairman of the board, expressed his gratitude to Boone for his contributions, saying, “Unfortunately, in a very difficult environment, the performance of our core Pick n Pay business has been very challenging over the past months, and has not met expectations.
Board decided on change of leadership
“Pieter accepts that the board has decided on a change in leadership. He leaves us with our heartfelt thanks and best wishes for the future.”
The impact of the announcement was swift, and the company’s shares plummeted by nearly 11% during morning trade, marking a 44% loss in value over the past year.
“We are delighted that Sean is coming back to Pick n Pay. His knowledge and experience is unrivalled. He is passionate about getting Pick n Pay back on to the right trajectory and winning the trust and confidence of customers new and old. He is absolutely the right person for the job at this time,” Ackerman added.
Moneyweb, the financial news website, reports: “In a trading update, Pick n Pay noted that the strong performance by Boxer, Pick n Pay Clothing and Liquor stores, together with the online sales divisions, failed to offset the poor performance recorded by core Pick n Pay stores and spiralling costs.”
According to the Pick n Pay group website, it operates just over 2,000 stores and has around 90,000 employees. Apart from South Africa, it has a presence in several African countries. Among them are Botswana. Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia.
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