Management shake-up at Lewis; CFO among those leaving

The chairperson, a board member and the CFO are leaving JSE-listed Lewis Group. Lewis said in a statement that David Nurek, Lewis chairperson, had advised the board that he plans to retire after serving as a director and chairman since the group’s listing on the JSE in 2004. Les Davies, who has served as the group’s CFO and financial director since 1989, advised the board that he would be stepping down as CFO and as an executive director of the group. Davies will continue to serve as CEO of the group’s short-term insurer, Monarch Insurance.

While Hilton Saven will take over as chair, Jacques Bestbier (pictured) will take over as CFO, Lewis has said. Bestbier, a chartered accountant, has been a general manager at Lewis since 2012. Prior to joining Lewis he spent six years with the Shoprite Group in financial and divisional management roles.

The news comes as the retailer announced a 35.6 percent decline in headline earnings per share for the year ending 31 March 2017. The furniture and appliances retailer has blamed slow economic growth, customers hit by affordability assessment regulations and unemployment among the reasons for its weak performance.

Lewis said in a statement:

"Through a managed succession process, Mr Nurek has agreed to stand for re-election as a director at the forthcoming annual general meeting in August 2017. He will serve as a director until a suitable candidate has been appointed to the board to succeed Mr Saven as chairman of the audit committee, at which time he will formally retire from the board and be succeeded by Mr Saven."