Pick n Pay's chief executive resigns

South Africa’s Pick n Pay said on Wednesday its chief executive would step down at the end of this month, leaving the nation’s number two grocer as it faces increased competition from Walmart.

Nick Badminton, who has been the chief executive of the Cape Town-based company for five years, said he was stepping down to spend time with his family.

“I think that it’s a good time for me to take a sabbatical to spend some quality time with my family and my bicycle,” he said in a statement.

While consumer spending in Africa’s top economy is gradually improving, Pick n Pay has yet to see major benefits as it has spent a chunk of its cash building distribution centres to boost margins and win back market share.

The family-run company is also facing increased competition from US retailer Walmart Stores, which took 51% stake in local discounter Massmart last year and has set out an aggressive strategy to win business.

The company said Pick n Pay chairperson Gareth Ackerman would take the role of executive chairperson responsible for strategy, while deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg would be responsible for operations until the new CEO was found.

The company said it would consider both international and local candidates for job.

Shares in Pick n Pay, which are valued at R21.8-billion, fell 0.89% to R45.43 by 9.35am GMT, lagging behind a 0.92% rise in the JSE Top-40 index—Reuters


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