Whitey Basson. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

CAPE TOWN - Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson has been heralded as a retail god or Genius. 

The executive was in charge of Shoprite’s operations from 1979 to 2016. In a new interview with 702 radio, Basson discusses how he turned Shoprite from eight stores in SA into Africa’s largest retailer.

To put this into perspective, when Basson took over the company was valued at approximately R1 million, the company has now has a market cap of R127 billion. When asked about the success of Shoprite, Basson said that the lack of interference by Christo Wiese in running the business was one of the major factors. 

When Basson retired at the end of last year, he was South Africa’s best-paid executive; the former CEO was given R100.1 million at the end of 2016. According to reports, Shoprite was forced to buy back some shares from the businessman to the tune of R1.8 billion.

When asked what industry Basson would invest in now, he simply replied tourism.