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South Africa’s Pick n Pay CEO Brasher to retire in April

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JOHANNESBURG, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Richard Brasher, the chief executive of South Africa’s Pick n Pay Stores Ltd, will retire with effect from April 21 after eight years at the helm, the country’s no.3 grocery chain by market value said on Thursday.

Brasher will be succeeded by Pieter Boone, a former Chief Operating Officer of German retailer Metro AG with extensive international experience.

Brasher, a former head of Tesco’s UK business, said last May he had delayed plans to step down after working for 35 years in retail on four continents, to help Pick n Pay weather the pandemic.

“My aim when joining Pick n Pay eight years ago was simply to leave the business in a much stronger position than I found it,” he said on Thursday.

Brasher has indeed led a “remarkable” turnaround and the company is “immeasurably stronger now,” Chairman Gareth Ackerman said, noting he had almost doubled Pick n Pay’s store network and grown turnover to almost 90 billion rand ($5.95 billion) from 55 billion rand when he joined the company.

“As well as delivering consistent and sustainable profit growth, modernising the Pick n Pay business, expanding our offer and transforming our efficiency, Richard has led the transformation of Boxer into Africa’s fastest-growing limited range discounter,” Ackerman said, referring to one of Pick n Pay’s subsidiaries.

When Brasher took the reins at the retailer, growth at rivals Shoprite and Woolworths had outpaced Pick n Pay for more than a decade as it struggled to fend off competition.

($1 = 15.1221 rand) (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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