This announcement is published in accordance with paragraph 3.59 of the JSE Listings Requirements.
The Board wishes to advise that after sixteen years of service with Famous Brands, Group Chief Executive (CE), Kevin Hedderwick, has tendered notice of his decision to retire on 29 February 2016. The Board is furthermore pleased to announce that Kevin has accepted a position as Strategic Advisor to the Group from 1 March 2016, for a 12-month period concluding in March 2017.
Kevin’s Strategic Advisory role will include mentoring the new CE and executive management team as required, pursuing and evaluating new growth opportunities for the Group, overseeing execution of new acquisitions, and managing the investor relations portfolio.
The Board is delighted to announce that Darren Hele, currently Chief Executive: Food Services, will be appointed Group CE upon Kevin’s retirement.
The Group has in place a robust executive management succession programme, and accordingly, the matter of Kevin’s impending retirement and his successor has been the subject of intensive consideration over the past year.
Darren Hele joined Famous Brands in 2003. He served as Managing Director of Wimpy South Africa and later the United Kingdom. In 2011 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer: Franchising, and in 2013 assumed the position of Chief Operating Officer for the Group. With effect from 1 March 2014, Darren was promoted to Chief Executive Officer: Food Services.
STATEMENT BY CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, SANTIE BOTHA:
Kevin’s invaluable contribution to this business is well known and respected. We are delighted that on his retirement at the end of February 2016, he has accepted a further 12-month contract as Strategic Advisor to the business. Thereafter, he will be invited to join the Board as a Non-executive director.
The Board would like to express its gratitude to Kevin for his long-standing contribution to the business and looks forward to his continued involvement in his new capacity.
We are delighted that Darren is in place and well qualified to succeed Kevin, bringing to his new role extensive experience in the Group and the industry. With Darren’s appointment, the Board is satisfied that the planned management transition will be seamless and will ensure the business is optimally prepared for the next phase of its growth.
STATEMENT BY PANAGIOTIS HALAMANDARIS, ON BEHALF OF THE HALAMANDARIS AND HALAMANDRES FOUNDING FAMILIES:
Kevin joined the Group in 2000 as Managing Director of the Steers brand. In 2001 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Group, a position he held until his appointment as Group Chief Executive in 2010.
During his sixteen-year tenure Kevin has overseen the transformation of the Group from a small, two-brand company into a vertically integrated business comprising 27 brands represented by over 2 500 franchised restaurants across South Africa, the Rest of Africa, the United Kingdom and the Middle East, underpinned by substantial Manufacturing and Logistics operations. Under his stewardship the business has delivered a significant increase in profitability through both organic and acquisitive growth, and has consistently ensured excellent returns to shareholders. Since his appointment in 2000, the Group’s share price has increased from R1.69 per share to R141.53 per share, equating to a growth in market capitalisation from R105 million to R14 billion.
As the founding members and largest private shareholders of Famous Brands, we are proud of the numerous milestones and impressive track record Kevin has achieved with this business.
We are confident that the strong foundations laid over the past 16 years will ensure that under Darren’s leadership the business will continue to flourish. The management team is assured of our continued commitment and support.
STATEMENT BY KEVIN HEDDERWICK:
It has been a privilege to lead this Group over the past decade and a half and I am honoured to have had the opportunity to shape the company into what it is today. I am satisfied that we have achieved the strategic and operational ambitions I formulated at the outset of my tenure.
The foundations for the future are firmly in place, including a strong executive management team, optimally structured business model and a pipeline of growth opportunities to continue to meet stakeholder expectations. The business is perfectly poised to enter its next growth cycle under Darren’s leadership and I look forward to supporting him in that regard.
It is fair to say that over the past 16 years of my life this business has been all-consuming. From March next year, in conjunction with my role as Strategic Advisor to the Group, I am also looking forward to exploring the next chapter in my personal growth story. During my career with Famous Brands, I derived enormous satisfaction and reward from identifying and developing entrepreneurial businesses and I hope to pursue that interest in a range of capacities in the future.