New Spar chair Mike Bosman takes on executive role until fresh CEO is found

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Spar chair Mike Bosman will act as interim CEO until a permanent head is appointed.
Spar chair Mike Bosman will act as interim CEO until a permanent head is appointed.
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Spar's newly appointed chairperson, Mike Bosman, is taking on a more hands-on role at the grocer until a permanent successor to CEO Brett Botten, who resigned earlier in January, can be found. 

Bosman will be taking the position of executive chairperson with effect from 1 February, Spar said in a statement on Monday, while efforts have also been made to strengthen governance at the firm through the establishment of new board structures.

The retailer said on Monday it is confident it can recruit a successor within three months, while in consideration of its new executive chair, it would be putting in place "additional processes to strengthen governance".

A new board chairman's committee has been established, chaired by lead independent director, Andrew Waller, which will interact regularly with Bosman to ensure continued high standards of governance. Once the new CEO is appointed, Bosman will return to his position of independent non-executive chair.

READ | 'Moving in the right direction' - how Spar's new chairperson plans to put out fires

Bosman said on Monday that his position as interim Spar CEO would not impact other directorships, which include MTN, EOH and AVI.

"Nothing changes. This is a very short-term assignment - designed as a very short bridge between the retiring CEO and the new CEO," he told News24. He said it was "designed to maintain momentum and stability in the group".

In recent months the grocery chain has faced questions about its corporate governance and treatment of storeowners, including how it prepares estimates of earning for prospective buyers. Spar is also facing two court cases from aggrieved retailers. Bosman says he hopes to sit down and talk to hash the issues out. 

Triple chair 

The 62-year-old only joined Spar's board as chair in December. He has served as the chair of Spur for the past four years. 

Before entering the business world full-time, Bosman worked for a decade flying Cessna Citation II transport planes for the SA Air Force. His passengers included generals and Cabinet ministers, including then deputy defence minister Ronnie Kasrils. 

He worked in advertising and media for the next decade before chairing the World Scout Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, between 2009 and 2013. 

At the foundation, an umbrella body for raising funds for scouts worldwide, he said he worked closely with King Karl Gustav of Sweden, the body's honorary chairperson. 

Returning to SA, Bosman continued working chiefly in digital media and communications. He joined MTN SA's board in 2016, and EOH's board in 2019. 

The same year he was appointed the non-executive chairperson of Spur. Bosman is also the non-executive chairperson of Vinimark Trading, the largest independent wine distribution company in the country. 

Spar's shares were down 0.71% to R134.18 in early trade on Monday, having risen almost 16% so far in 2023, but having fallen more than a fifth over the past year.

Click here for more details on Spar's shares and other info.

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