/ 26 June 2018

Tekkie Town CEO resigns

Tekkie Town Chairman Braam van Huyssteen
Tekkie Town Chairman Braam van Huyssteen

Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR) on Tuesday confirmed the resignation of Tekkie Town CEO Bernard Mostert and other senior members of management.

Fin24 has learned that two senior bosses of Tekkie Town and as many as 100 staff members staged a walk-out in the latest development involving an impasse between STAR bosses and Tekkie Town’s founder and former STAR Property Division chair Braam van Huyssteen, who resigned from this position  last month.

Mostert confirmed to Fin24 that he resigned from his position, adding that the higher-ups made his position and the continued growth of the business untenable.

“Myself and the COO have been in partnership in that business for a long time. We have reached a point where it has been impossible for us to achieve the desired results for the business in a meaningful way, because of the actions of people at STAR due to the treatment of Mr Van Huyssteen and ourselves,” said Mostert.

Mostert said he and his associates would be exploring legal remedies to the impasse with STAR as even their best efforts to resolve the matter amicably were undermined.

“We worked very hard to find a form of mediation that would allow for Braam to be honoured and to use his unique skills. We ultimately saw that because of the personal hatred others had towards him that nothing we would put on the table would be honoured,” Mostert said.

Earlier this month STAR was issued a summons from Tekkie Town. The summons involved notice of a claim lodged by Van Huyssteen, the founders and original shareholders of Tekkie Town around an earn-out agreement.

Tekkie Town operates 368 stores within STAR’s total retail footprint of more than 5 100 stores and contributes approximately 3% to STAR’s consolidated annual revenue, according to a statement from the company.

“Last night saw the walk-out of the CEO, Bernard Mostert, COO, Dawie van Niekerk, other top management and 100 staff of Tekkie Town and STAR’s speciality division four weeks after Braam van Huyssteen resigned from his role as Chairman of Steinhoff Africa Retail’s (Star) Property Division,” the email said.

Spokesperson for STAR Stella Wink confirmed the resignation of Bernard Mostert, the CEO of Tekkie Town, and certain other senior members of management, with immediate effect.

She said STAR deployed an interim management team led by Operational Director at Ackermans Riaan van Rooyen.

“Tekkie Town is an important part of STAR, and further support will be provided to Tekkie Town, as required, through STAR’s extensive operational capability. Tekkie Town will continue operating business as usual,” said Wink in a statement. — News 24