Steinhoff appoints third CEO in a month

ESteinhoffmbattled retail giant Steinhoff has appointed chief operating officer Danie van der Merwe as its third CEO in a month, as the conglomerate battles its accounting crisis.

Alexandre Nodale has been installed as deputy CEO and Louis Du Preez as commercial director in a raft of rapid changes for the company, who’s “accounting irregularities” and postponement of its financial results earlier prompted the South African-headquartered, Frankfurt-listed retailer’s CEO Markus Jooste to quit, followed by its top shareholder and chairman Christo Wiese.

Nodale will provide additional financial oversight and European retail experience to the management board setup to steer Steinhoff through its accounting issues.

He will remain CEO of Conforama, a major subsidiary of Steinhoff. Du Preez is an experienced qualified attorney, specialising in corporate and commercial matters.

Steinhoff is structured according to the Dutch governance convention of a supervisory board of non-executive directors and a management board, comprising executive directors.

The conglomerate ‘reminded stakeholders’ that the business is managed on a decentralised basis.

Michael Ford, a successful and respected business leader in Australia, was recently appointed as the CEO of the Asia Pacific business, and is supported by an experienced team of business specific CEO’s most of which has been with the businesses in excess of 10 years,” the company mentioned in a statement.

“The group confirms that the entire global team is focused on managing their businesses, and the group’s 130 000 employees globally, through this time.”

Shares in the retailer have plunged almost 80 per cent after the company’s recent announcements.

The embattled retail giant also said its accounting troubles may stretch back into last year, after the conglomerate said it will have to restate its 2016 accounts as they “can no longer be relied upon.”

In a presentation following its meeting with its financial lenders, Steinhoff said it is facing a credit squeeze from the banks who are starting to withdraw or suspend credit following the allegations of financial wrongdoing.

More to come…

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