Imperial taps Massmart founder as CEO

Imperial taps Massmart founder as CEO

2014-02-20 19:26

Johannesburg - Imperial Holdings on Thursday named Massmart  founder Mark Lamberti as its next chief executive, tapping a business veteran who built one of the dominant retailers in Africa's top economy.

Imperial said the 63-year-old Lamberti would take over from March 1, replacing Hubert Brody who will stay on as a non-executive director.

The company was delighted to have appointed someone of Lamberti's calibre, board chairperson Thulani Gcabashe said in a statement.

"We are confident his experience, exceptional leadership skills and expertise will benefit Imperial and its stakeholders."

Lamberti would relinquish his position on the boards of other listed companies. His previous roles included managing director of Makro and executive chairperson and chief executive of Massmart.

Lamberti said: "I am honoured to succeed Hubert, and before him the late Bill Lynch, as the leader of this remarkable group and look forward to working with Imperial's highly skilled leadership team to deliver value for stakeholders."

Lamberti founded Massmart in 1990 and built the company into a high-volume, discount retailer with a market value of $2.5bn by the time he retired as chief executive in 2007.

Imperial, an automotive retailer and shipping firm, has been expanding into Africa to offset the relatively weak economic growth in its home market.

Shares of the company have more than trebled in the last five years, outperforming the broad All-Share index, which has more than doubled in that time.