Pupkewitz to Appoint New CEO This Quarter

PUPKEWITZ Holdings, one of the country’s biggest family-owned companies with revenues close to N$3 billion, expects to appoint a new CEO this quarter. The group employs 1450 people.

Eugene Shepherd, the Pupkewitz Holding’s finance director told The Namibian this week that the group has been preparing for the recruitment of a CEO for some time, having appointed a leading international recruitment firm specialising in CEO appointments. He did not name the firm but said it was very active in our region.

“We aim to finalise the appointment of a CEO during the first quarter of 2015, allowing for full response and assessment, with the candidate to take up the position as soon as possible,” Shepherd said.

Asked if the the group was looking for a Namibian, he said the group has prioritised finding “and would prefer to appoint a Namibian citizen, ideally a previously disaantaged Namibian, whether living in Namibia or willing to return home”.

Shepherd said the group was looking for a candidate who is “an inspirational business leader, with g financial acumen, disciplined and entrepreneurial with an understanding of family business dynamics.”

“Due to the importance of the CEO’s role in taking the Pupkewitz group forward, and considering the contribution the group makes to the Namibian economy, it is essential that the gest candidate be appointed. In the face of increasing regional competition, it is crucial for us to ensure the future of the group through the leadership of an experienced CEO with pan-African exposure,” he said.

Current group managing director Jerome Davis was initially appointed for one year following the death of founder Harold Pupkewitz in 2012 but his contract was later extended for a second year ending December 2014, to allow the search for a permanent CEO to progress.

The late Pupkewitz was in the past criticised for not employing black Namibians in senior positions and for not ceding a stake in the group to black economic empowerment since the group was a big beneficiary of government tenders.

Just before his death, the Namibian Competition Commission and the Ministry of Trade and Industry blocked an attempt by Pupkewitz to sell Pupkewitz Megabuild to Wal-Mart through its subsidiary Massmart, saying that black empowerment conditions had to be met first.

But Shepherd said the group is committed to the principles of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) and complies with all the Affirmative Action legislation of Namibia.

“We have engaged Namibians from designated groups to appoint to our board of directors, a process which is ongoing. Our individual companies provide further assistance, mentorship and credit to over 1 400 Small and Medium Enterprises,” he said.

Shepherd said other empowerment initiatives include the partnership with the Namibian Development Corporation, which holds a large stake in the group’s northern vehicle franchises.

“Various further opportunities are being considered across the group,” he said.

Source : The Namibian