Bidvest planning for Joffe’s departure

Brian Joffe, chief executive and founder of Bidvest Group, said planning for his succession is progressing "very well" with a senior team already in place at South Africa’s biggest diversified industrial company.

"The seamless succession of Cyril Ramaphosa by Lorato Phalatse inevitably raises questions about my own succession," Joffe (66) said in the company’s annual report published on its website. "This process is already under way. A strong senior team is already in place."

Joffe, who has occupied the top position at Bidvest since March 1989, has presided over an increase in the company’s market value over the past 20 years to about R86-billion from R782-million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales surged to R153-billion from R775-million.

Bernard Berson (48) chief executive of Bidvest Foodservice and Lindsay Ralphs (57) chief executive of Bidvest South Africa have been delegated "more and more responsibilities," Joffe said. "My focus is increasingly on strategic issues and major acquisitions."

Bidvest shares rose 0.7% to R261.18 by 11am, in Johannesburg, extending its gain this year to 22%. – Bloomberg

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