Pioneer Foods share price drops 8% as CEO to retire

Johannesburg – Pioneer Foods Group [JSE:PFG] chief executive Phil Roux will retire at the end of the month, the company said, sending the share price on an 8% decline on Friday.

According to a note issued to shareholders on Friday afternoon, the decision comes after consultation with the board. He will serve as a strategic adviser to the group until November 30 2019.

Roux joined the group as CEO in 2013, during which time he strategically repositioned the company.

Commenting on the group’s prospects now that he is leaving, Roux 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.”

Group chairperson KK Combi commended Roux for being an asset to the company who brought “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.

“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,” he said.

Tertius Carstens, currently the business executive responsible for the Essential Foods Division, will take over from Roux on October 1. This is the largest operating division and profit contributor. Carstens has been with the group since 1994, and previously served as an executive director on the board.

Combi said that Carstens has a strong track record, depth of knowledge and experience across all aspects of the organisation, making him ideal for the role as CEO.

Other executive changes include the appointment of Felix Lombard as chief financial officer and executive director. He was previously the business executive of the groceries division.

The share price opened at R126.50 and was trading at R116.50 at 15:30.  

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