JOHANNESBURG - The retirement of Marius Bosman as Shoprite’s chief financial officer marks the end of the era of then-chief executive Whitey Basson, says Ron Klipin, a portfolio manager at Johannesburg-based Cratos Wealth.

“Shoprite has a new regime and Bosman’s retirement marks the end of an era under Whitey Basson, the previous chief executive, under whom he worked for more than 25 years. Pieter Engelbrecht, the new man on the block, probably wanted to appoint his own team,” said Klipin yesterday.

“In addition, most of the executives had gained from the benefits of hard work as well as the rewards of Whitey’s winning growth strategy at the Shoprite Group.”

Basson retired at the end of December 2016 after 37 years as Shoprite’s chief executive and was succeeded by Engelbrecht, who had been with the company for more than 20 years.

The group was slammed for paying Basson R100million, including a R50m bonus.

Basson was credited by analysts for growing Shoprite organically and changing the landscape of the company by increasing its footprint into Africa when its competitors were scared to do so.

Bosman, 60, was appointed as a financial director in August 2014 and will remain involved in the preparation and completion of the group financials for the year to the end of June.

He will be succeeded by Anton de Bruyn, who has more than 15 years’ service within Shoprite.

“He will also continue to share his knowledge and experience in a consultancy capacity,” Africa’s retail giant stated yesterday.

In its interim results released in February, Shoprite reported a 6.3percent increase in turnover and a 5percent advance in trading profit. The headline earnings increase of 14.2percent was ahead of most expectations.

Last month, the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) led a two-day strike to demand the withdrawal of changes to the conditions of service and to call for the provision of safe and reliable transport for early morning and late night shifts, among others.

Saccawu Free State provincial secretary Monyatso oa Mahlatsi said Shoprite had always underpaid workers but overpaid chief executives. “Basson was paid R50m in 2016. If that is not overpayment, we do not know what is.”

- BUSINESS REPORT