Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste leaves abruptly

  • After about four years in the position
  • Christo Wiese taking over in the interim

(exechange) — Stellenbosch, South Africa, December 6, 2017 — Markus Jooste, chief executive of Steinhoff, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. in a news release on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Markus Johannes Jooste leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the retail holding company after about four years in the position, effective immediately.

Jooste’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Christo Wiese, most recently Chairman at Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.

The move is a reverse generational change. Christo Wiese is about 20 years older than Markus Jooste.

“Accounting irregularities requiring further investigation”

A reason for Jooste’s sudden departure from the CEO post was not explicitly given. Steinhoff said: “The Supervisory Board of Steinhoff advised shareholders that new information has come to light which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation. The Supervisory Board, in consultation with the statutory auditors of the Company, has approached PWC to perform an independent investigation. Steinhoff will update the market as the aforesaid investigation proceeds. The Company will publish the audited 2017 consolidated financial statements when it is in a position to do so. In addition, the Company will determine whether any prior years’ financial statements will need to be restated.”

Steinhoff further said: “Shareholders and other investors in Steinhoff are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the Group.”

Precise information about Jooste’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Resignation”

Steinhoff said: “Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff has tendered his resignation with immediate effect and the Board has accepted the resignation.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. since August 2016.

Chaired by Christoffel Hendrik Wiese

Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. is chaired by Christoffel Hendrik Wiese.

Wiese was appointed as a supervisory board director of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. in November 2015 and as chairman of the supervisory board in May 2016.

He previously served as an independent non-executive director to the Steinhoff International Holdings Limited board, having first been appointed on 5 March 2013.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Markus Johannes Jooste served as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. since 2013.

He obtained a B Accounting degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 1982 and a certificate in the Theory of Accounting from the University of Cape Town in 1983 before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1986.

In 1988, Jooste joined Gommagomma Holdings Proprietary Limited (now Steinhoff Africa Holdings (Pty) Limited) as financial director.

In 1998, he was appointed as executive director and took responsibility for the European operations of the Steinhoff group.

In 2000, Jooste was appointed chief executive officer of Steinhoff International Holdings Limited and chairman of Steinhoff Africa, and in 2013, he was appointed chief executive officer for the Steinhoff group’s operations.

Jooste served on the boards of various unlisted Steinhoff group companies, including Conforama Holdings S.A. and the following listed companies: PSG Group Limited (member of the remuneration committee), Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited (member of the remuneration committee) and KAP Industrial Holdings Limited.

Read the full story in the exechange report 50.2017 ($).