Richard Brasher
Richard Brasher

SOUTH Africa’s second-largest food retailer Pick n Pay announced on Wednesday morning it had appointed former Tesco board member Richard Brasher as its new CEO, effective from February 1 2013.

Tesco is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenue, after Walmart and Carrefour, and the second-largest measured by profit, after Walmart.

Pick n Pay said Mr Brasher was appointed "after an extensive international search" and the company would be run in the interim by deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg and chairman Gareth Ackerman.

Mr Brasher, 51, was a leading member of the top team and main board of Tesco that transformed the company into a global retailer and took Tesco to clear market leadership in the UK with a market share in excess of 30%.

Pick n Pay has struggled recently to halt its falling marker share, losing out to rivals Shoprite and Woolworths.

Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman said the company was "extremely fortunate" to have secured Mr Brasher, who has had a 25-year career during which time Tesco has expanded both domestically and internationally and become a benchmark on many aspects of retailing.

Tesco also has stores in 14 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK, where it has a market share of around 30%, as well as of Malaysia, the Ireland and Thailand.

Tesco UK is a £47bn business generating a trading profit of £2.5bn, is the largest private employer in the UK and runs over 2,800 stores.

Mr Ackerman said: "Richard has a singularly impressive track record and we are delighted he has agreed to join us as Pick n Pay’s new CEO. The executive search was exhaustive and given his background, experience, expertise and array of innovative achievements, he was the natural choice."

The company’s former CEO, Nick Badminton, resigned from the position in February in a move that came as a surprise.