Retailer Mr Price has confirmed that Yuppiechef founders Andrew Smith and Shane Dryden have resigned from their management roles at the kitchenware company.
Mr Price acquired Yuppiechef for about R470 million last year, representing 1% of the retailer’s market capitalisation. The addition of Yuppiechef to its portfolio, along with value retailer Power Fashion, and more recently the majority of Studio 88 Group, is part of Mr Price’s strategy to tap into a new customer base and become "the most valuable retailer in Africa".
As part of its deal, Smith and Dryden would have continued to lead Yuppiechef. Instead, they decided to exit the business less than a year after the acquisition was finalised.
In a response to Fin24, Mr Price said the original intention and hope was that the co-founders would lead the business for at least a few years after the acquisition.
"However, they have both realised that the years of building the brand and getting the business to the place of sale have taken their toll," said Mr Price.
The retailer said that Smith and Dryden also realised that their passion and skills were in starting up a business, and not second-phase growth and scaling.
Mr Price added that the Yuppiechef co-founders have built a team that is capable of continuing to run the brand and the retailer’s growth plans for it are in no way hindered by their exit.
"The appointment of a new leader will take place in due course. Andrew and Shane will remain in place for the next few months and guide the business through this transition," said Mr Price.