Pioneer Foods Chief Executive Officer Phil Roux has, after consultation with the Board, informed the Board of his decision to retire as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and as a director of the Company, effective 1 October 2017. The company will retain his services as a strategic advisor until 30 November 2019, which will enable Pioneer Foods to continue leveraging his experience and expertise to the benefit of the group.
Phil Roux joined the group in 2013 as Chief Executive Officer. Since his appointment he has strategically repositioned the company, transformed the operating model, significantly reduced the company’s cost base, developed a pipeline of talent and instilled a performance culture that bodes well for the future.
Phil said: "Pioneer Foods is a strong group with world class assets and brands and it has been a real privilege to lead this organisation. We have made significant strides in repositioning it as a more strategically robust group. The underlying fundamentals are very strong and Pioneer is well positioned for future growth. I am proud to be associated with Pioneer Foods and delighted that I will continue to be able to contribute in an advisory capacity over the next 2 years.”
KK Combi, Chairman of Pioneer Foods, said: "Phil has been an asset to the Company and has brought about significant positive change. He was responsible for implementing an improved operating model and made some strategic acquisitions including the JV with Futurelife, the Weetabix Kenya acquisition and Food Concepts Nigeria. We have a strong balance sheet with ample capacity for growth and our embedded strategy should ensure margin recovery and growth going forward. The senior leadership team has benefited from his experience and approach and his contribution to the company has been very valuable. We look forward to continue having access to his expertise in an advisory capacity as we enter the next phase”.
The internal management structure has been set up in such a way that it allows for a seamless transition in executive leadership. Accordingly, the Board is pleased to announce that Tertius Carstens will take over as CEO on 1 October 2017. Tertius Carstens has been with the group since 1994 and has previously been an executive director on the Board of Pioneer. He has been a member of the senior executive leadership team for more than 15 years and is currently the Business Executive responsible for the Essential Foods Division - the largest operating division and profit contributor within the group.
Said KK Combi: “We have put deliberate effort into building leadership depth within the organization. Tertius is exceptionally qualified and respected amongst all stakeholders of the Group, both internally and externally. His strong track record and depth of knowledge and experience across all aspects of the organization makes him the ideal candidate to assume the role of CEO.”
Tertius said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed CEO of Pioneer by the Board and to continue working with my colleagues leading the organization during its next chapter. Phil has been a strong leader and has repositioned the company during his tenure, with a well-
articulated strategy and a team of experts on the executive leadership team. I am personally invested in Pioneer Foods and am excited to take up this position in October.”
The Board has expressed its sincere appreciation to Phil for his contribution and congratulated Tertius on his appointment.
Pioneer Foods has and continues to make key strategic appointments to ensure appropriate succession. Recently, these included:
1. Felix Lombard was promoted to and appointed as Chief Financial Officer of the Group and Executive Director on the Board, effective 1 July 2017. Felix was previously the Business
Executive of the Groceries Division.
2. Martin Neethling was promoted to and appointed as Business Executive of the Groceries Division of Pioneer Foods, effective 1 July 2017. Before succeeding Felix in this position, Martin was the Group Strategic Marketing Officer and continues to support all divisions in this regard.
3. Riaan Heyl has been promoted to and appointed as Business Executive of the Essential Foods Division of Pioneer Foods, effective 1 October 2017. Riaan was previously the Managing Executive of the Bakeries Division within Essential Foods and reported to Tertius Carstens.
4. Dr. Elroy Goliath has been promoted to and appointed as Group Executive of Supply Chain, effective 1 October 2017. Elroy has been with the group for more than 10 years and has acted in various senior operational and supply chain roles.
5. Nico Moloto has been promoted to and appointed as Group Executive of Sustainability and Stakeholders. Nico joined the Group in 2015 and his immediate impact was noted throughout leading to his promotion to the executive level.
The Board congratulates these individuals with their respective appointments.
1 September 2017