Executive Leadership Team

Tertius Carstens

Tertius Carstens (55)

B Eng (Chem), MBA

Chief executive officer*

Mr Carstens has been with the Group since 1994 and has 23 years’ experience within Pioneer Foods. Initially, he was involved in the engineering and technical components of the business, but has since gained strong strategic experience through his involvement in various aspects of the Group. He worked in managerial and executive capacities, both in the Groceries and Essential Foods divisions. He was actively involved in a number of the Group’s joint ventures, many of them since inception. He was appointed CEO and executive director of the Group from 1 October 2017.

Executive-Management_Felix Lombard new

Felix Lombard (48)

M Com (Tax), CA(SA)

Chief Financial Officer

Felix Lombard started his career with the Group in 1995 as head of information systems at Bokomo and then Pioneer Foods. He was until recently the Business Executive for the Groceries Division and was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of the group from 1 July 2017. In addition to his finance responsibilities, he is accountable for IT and M&A.

He has been with the Group since 1995.

Thushen Govender

Thushen Govender (41)

B Com (Hons), CA(SA), MBA (UK)

Executive: International, Joint Ventures

Thushen Govender joined the Group in 2013 from Tiger Brands where he served as the executive business development, strategy and investor relations. His career commenced with Deloitte South Africa and he later transferred to the United States to gain international experience. Over the past 10 years he has been involved in business development and strategy within various emerging markets while working for Stanbic Africa and Tiger Brands respectively.

He joined the Group in October 2013.

Jay Ann Jacobs

Jay-Ann Jacobs (45)


Postgraduate Diploma (UCT): Environmental Law

Group Legal and Company Secretary

Jay-Ann Jacobs practiced as a corporate and commercial attorney for 12 years prior to joining Pioneer Foods, four of which were as a director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc. in Cape Town.

She has been with the Group since 2010.

Martin Neethling

Martin Neethling (53)

B Soc Sci (Economics, Politics, Bus Admin), MBA

Executive: Groceries

Martin Neethling has extensive strategic marketing and management experience gained during a career spanning 30 years. During this time he held various directorships and senior management roles in the retail, advertising and FMCG sectors. Most notably he was previously the Managing Director of Berry Bush BBDO, Marketing and Financial Services Director at the Ackermans Group and Chairman of Jay-Jays. He joined Pioneer Foods in 2015 and served as Chief Marketing Officer until 1 July 2017, when he was appointed executive of the Groceries Division. As an Associate at the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing he has amassed significant insight and understanding of the South African consumer landscape – important skills which he brings to his portfolio.

Martin joined the Group in October 2015.

Riaan Heyl

Riaan Heyl (43)

B Com (Hons), CA (SA)

Business executive: Essential Foods*

Mr Heyl held financial management positions at both corporate and divisional level before being promoted to general manager of the Essential Foods’ Ggrains division in 2007. He was appointed as managing executive of the Bbakeries business in 2013, and was responsible for the wheaten value chain of Essential Foods before his appointment as business executive: Essential Foods on 1 October 2017. He has been with the Group since 2000.
* Effective 1 October 2017



B Com (Financial Accounting), PGDip Development Finance

Executive: Sustainability and Corporate Affairs.

Nico Moloto has a strong financial background with over ten years’ experience in the financial services sector, having begun his career at RMB Asset Management. He then moved to Standard Bank and during his significant tenure there he was responsible for financial reporting and BEE Lending as well as for structuring corporate Enterprise Development lending schemes. Upon joining Pioneer Foods in 2015, his portfolio expanded to include CSI, Enterprise and Supplier Development, Sustainability and Stakeholder management. He also manages the Pioneer Foods Education and Community Trust (PFECT). He joined the executive team in July 2017

Nico joined the Group in May 2015.



PhD (Chemical Engineering), MBA

Group executive: supply chain

Dr Goliath has a comprehensive background in chemical engineering, business management and strategy, with over 15 years’ senior management experience in various operational, supply chain and business roles. Twelve of those years were spent in the wine industry, in roles including product and process development, engineering, operations, sales and as group supply chain executive at KWV. He authored an environmental management guide for the wine sector during this time, which was underwritten by the Department of Water Affairs and other stakeholders for implementation. His career at Pioneer Foods includes general manager of strategic services, managing executive and supply chain executive for Essential Foods (Grains). He joined Pioneer Foods in June 2008 and was appointed to his current position on 01 October 2017..


Nandipha Ngumbela (43)

B Arts (Communications and Psychology), Master of Business Leadership

Group Executive: Human Resources

Nandipha Ngumbela has extensive experience as a Human Resources professional with a career spanning 20 years. She has occupied various senior roles at corporates including Old Mutual, Engen, Liberty Health, Chevron and Clicks. She has specialist capabilities in transformation and employment equity as well as talent and performance management.

Nandipha joined the Group in January 2018