Press Releases & Interviews

Edcon announces succession plan

28 January 2011

Edcon announced today that current Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Ross will retire in May 2012.

Following an exhaustive search, Mr Jürgen Schreiber has been appointed to take the reins as CEO of Edcon effective 1 April 2011. In conjunction with his planned retirement, Mr Ross will remain on the group’s Board of Directors until May 2012 to ensure effective succession and handover to Mr Schreiber.

Mr Schreiber was until recently President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian health and beauty retailer Shoppers Drug Mart Corp (TSX: SC), a publicly traded company with 45,000 employees, sales of over C$10 billion and a network of over 1,300 stores across Canada. Under his stewardship, the company strengthened its market position and achieved record sales and profitability.

Dwight Poler, non-Executive Chairman of Edcon said: “We’d like to sincerely thank Steve Ross for his contributions and accomplishments. He has been a tremendous leader, consolidating the group’s position as the region’s clothing, footwear and textiles leader.

“During Steve’s tenure, he and the team quadrupled annual sales to more than R22 billion, added over 500 stores to build today’s 1,220 strong chain, and completed acquisitions of well-known South African retailers including CNA and Boardmans.”

Ross said: “It has been a great privilege to lead Edcon – serving our customers, employees and shareholders, and to build a strong retail business supported by a great team.  

“We welcome Jürgen as a CEO who will continue our history of management strength. His track record as a strong retail and consumer strategist with outstanding commercial capabilities and as an adaptable leader is a matter of record. I trust the business will flourish under his leadership and I look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition.”  

“Jürgen’s appointment is an endorsement of South Africa’s economic prospects and ability to attract top talent.”  

Prior to joining Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix in 2006, Mr Schreiber had a five-year career at A.S. Watson, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, owner of the world’s largest network of health and beauty stores. He lastly served as Chief Executive Officer of Health and Beauty Europe & Continental Europe & U.K., responsible for more than 4,000 stores in 23 countries operating under 10 brands.  

Prior to joining A.S. Watson Group, Mr. Schreiber had a 14-year career with Reckitt Benckiser, where he progressed through many senior management positions in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Netherlands, China and Singapore.

Schreiber said: “I’m honoured by the Board’s confidence in me, and motivated by the opportunity to lead the group during times of exciting change in both economic conditions and the consumer mindset.  

“Mr Ross has achieved outstanding results during his time here. I would like to build on his successes and lead the group through its next stage of organic growth. I’m delighted Mr Ross will continue to advise us as a member of the Board.”  

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