Clicks reveals new CEO to lead the group

Clicks Group [JSE:CLS] announced on Friday that Vikesh Ramsunder will be appointed as group CEO and an executive director with effect from 1 January 2019.

He will succeed David Kneale who has led the group since 2006.

Kneale will then assume the role of group strategic advisor while he serves his contractual notice period until 31 August 2019.

"This will enable the group to benefit from Kneale’s extensive health and beauty retailing experience and ensure a smooth transition to the new CEO," said Clicks in an update to shareholders. .

Ramsunder, 47, is the chief operating officer of Clicks and has been with the group for 25 years. He has held numerous roles across multiple disciplines including store and distribution centre management and was head of logistics at Clicks.

In 2010 he was promoted to managing director of UPD, the group’s pharmaceutical wholesaler, and was appointed to lead the Clicks chain in 2015.

During his time at UPD he was instrumental in the implementation of the distribution strategy and more recently has been responsible for driving growth in Clicks’ health and beauty market shares.

“Vikesh has been mentored as my successor over several years and is highly respected both internally and by external stakeholders of the group. His proven leadership track record and depth of experience makes him the ideal CEO succession candidate,” said Kneale.

During Kneale’s 13 years at the helm, the Clicks Group experienced strong growth in its core markets. Revenue more than trebled in this time while operating profit has increased five-fold.

“It has been a privilege to lead this great team and I am pleased that I will continue to contribute in an advisory capacity until my retirement. Clicks Group has a strong executive leadership team and I am confident in their ability to sustain the group’s commercial success,” concluded Kneale.

By late afternoon the Clicks share price was down 0.85% to R179.96.

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