After leaving Pick n Pay in 2007, its former highly successful CEO is returning to help turn the group around.
Pick n Pay is bringing an old hand back as group CEO to do his magic again. Sean Summers, who was a highly successful CEO at the retailer for seven years, is coming back to turn around the performance of the Group’s Pick n Pay Retail core engine.
Summers will also ensure the continued success of the group’s growth strategies and prioritise an effective handover plan to the next generation of leadership in the company. Pick n Pay announced today that Pieter Boone was stepping down as group CEO but would assist Summers through a brief handover period.
The new CEO appointment comes after the group announced it expected a loss at the earnings, headline earnings and pro forma headline earnings levels for the first half of the financial year due to restructuring costs, duplication of supply chain costs and energy costs due to load shedding.
The group now expects incremental abnormal costs of approximately R565 million, of which R396 million was spent to run generators during load shedding.
Summers had a highly successful tenure as CEO between 1999 and 2006 after he started working for Pick n Pay in 1974. Many people will remember him hitting the front pages of newspapers just before he resigned in 2006 for getting caught doing 186 km/h in his Ferrari.
Chairman of Pick n Pay, Gareth Ackerman, thanked Boone for his dedication after becoming CEO during the Covid pandemic, leading the business through extraordinary challenges, including the transition out of the Covid lockdown, the unprecedented civil unrest in 2021 and the current load shedding crisis.
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Board decided on change in leadership to Summers
“Unfortunately, in a very difficult environment, the performance of our core Pick n Pay business has been very challenging over the past months and has not met expectations. Boone accepts that the Board has decided on a change in leadership.”
During Summers’ tenure, Pick n Pay was the clear grocery market leader in South Africa and the late Raymond Ackerman, founder of the retail chain, described him as ”an excellent leader, who achieved remarkable things at Pick n Pay”.
Gareth Ackerman expressed his delight that Summers is returning to Pick n Pay.
“His knowledge and experience are unrivalled. He is passionate about getting Pick n Pay back on to the right trajectory and winning the trust and confidence of customers new and old. He is absolutely the right person for the job at this time.”
Summers says he is very excited to return home to Pick n Pay.
“Retailing is my passion and this company is in my blood. I have great excitement and energy for the task ahead. I am looking forward tremendously to meet our teams up and down the country. We are in this together and we will succeed together.”