Pieter Erasmus is slated to become the new chief executive (CEO) of Pepkor, the budget retail operator, later this year after Leon Lourens announced he intends to take early retirement.
Pepkor’s board said in a statement yesterday that Lourens would resign as CEO and from the board on September 30 and would be available to Pepkor during his notice period until the end of March 2023 in order to facilitate the transition to the new CEO.
Lourens has served the Pepkor Group for 32 years and was appointed CEO of Pepkor on December 6, 2017.
“The board is indebted to Leon for his exemplary leadership and valuable contribution to the group during a time that Pepkor faced a number of challenges, including dealing with the repercussions of the Steinhoff crisis, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 civil unrest and the 2022 KwaZulu-Natal floods. Under his stewardship, the group successfully navigated these challenges and continued to deliver commendable results,” the board said.
Lourens was also instrumental in the conclusion of Pepkor’s acquisition of the Brazilian-based retailer, Grupo Avenida.
The board also announced that Erasmus, who currently serves as a non-executive director of the company, had been appointed executive director and CEO of Pepkor with effect from October 1.
Erasmus is a chartered accountant and has considerable retail industry experience, having served as Pepkor Group CEO from 2001 to 2017. Erasmus will cease to be a member of human resources and the remuneration committee from the effective date of his appointment as CEO.
Erasmus will oversee a company with a market value of R74.4 billion. Although its share price has risen nearly 26 percent in the past three years, in the year to date its share is down 8.53 percent amid many challenges, including high inflation.
In July, Pepkor in a trading update for the third quarter and nine-month period, warned that against the backdrop of continued inflation and interest rate hikes, consumer affordability remained under pressure as the cost of living continued to rise.