RETAILING: PEP MD retires And Successor Announced
Recent Western Cape Business News
After more than 25 years with the company George Steyn announces today that he is retiring. “When I took over as Managing Director in 2005, I said I would step down no later than 2011 because I believe I could achieve what I wanted within that time. I’m pleased to be true to my word.” PEP Operations and Sales Director, Leon Lourens is Steyn’s successor, who is appointed as MD Designate until Steyn leaves the company on 30 September 2011.
In reviewing PEP’s performance under Steyn’s direction, the word ‘effective’ is an understatement. In the last five years, PEP’s operating profit has trebled and the company has enjoyed uninterrupted double digit turnover and operating profit growth. PEP has also grown considerably – currently it has more than 1 600 stores and over 16 000 employees. During Steyn’s term, PEP has grown its market share by more than 4% per annum. As the biggest single brand retailer in Africa, PEP conducts over 240 million transactions and sells 600 million items every year.
Under Steyn’s leadership, PEP is now also the biggest retailer of cellular products. During his career at PEP, Steyn worked in all areas of the business. He joined the company in 1986 as a trainee and in 1991 he was made a director before becoming Sales Director in 1994, responsible for all stores. In 1998, Steyn was Director of Buying and Logistics before being appointed Managing Director in 2005. Steyn has also served on the Pepkor executive and contributed widely to the rest of the group.
“I would like to thank my team and the wonderful employees at PEP. I am immensely thankful for what we have achieved,” adds Steyn. ”I’m equally proud of my successor Leon Lourens, who’s worked alongside me for so many years, because he has the vitality, commitment and ability to continue growing PEP – the company and the brand – into the future.”
Of his appointment, Leon Lourens says: “I am very excited and I consider this to be a massive honour and challenge. I have been part of the team that has developed the PEP strategy over the past few years and, given its success, at this stage I would not look to make any drastic changes other than to respond to what the market dictates.
“I believe in business simplicity and that the strategy of the company must be patently clear and understandable. Only then can execution be effective and efficient.”
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