Electronics and defence company Reunert says Nick Wentzel has been appointed as its new CE as Gerrit “Boel” Pretorius unexpectedly steps down a year before his employment contract ends. Pretorius was appointed to the Reunert board in 1990 and has been CEO of the JSE-listed company since 1997. He steps down both as CEO and a director from the beginning of next month.
Reunert chairman Trevor Munday says Pretorius “has been among the most successful CEOs in the history of Reunert. He is highly respected, liked and admired throughout Reunert and by our various stakeholders.”
Pretorius, who led the company for 12 years, enabled it to achieve “significant growth and success… resulting in Reunert becoming one of the top listed entities on the JSE”, says Munday. Munday adds that Pretorius will be on hand to assist Wentzel during a planned handover period. “We wish Boel and his wife Adele a very happy retirement,” he says.
Wentzel, 54, has a BCom from the now University of Johannesburg and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1977. His management experience includes working in the corporate finance division of Hill Samuel Merchant Bank, being a GM in the industrial division of General Mining, and serving as divisional chairman of Tiger Foods.
Wentzel managed the unbundling of Astral Foods and became the first CE of that company following its unbundling. Since 2009, he has been CE of Parmalat SA, which includes responsibility for Africa. Munday says the company decided to find a new CE well in advance of Pretorius’ retirement, as the company was aware that it would take some time to replace him.
“With [Pretorius’] agreement and active support, the board, therefore, initiated a process of finding a successor for him in February 2009, to allow for sufficient time to identify the best candidate and to plan for a smooth handover period,” says Munday.
Munday adds that the nominations committee considered numerous internal and external candidates. “We are pleased that we were able to identify an excellent candidate well in advance, and to the board’s satisfaction.”
He is confident Wentzel’s experience and proven track record will stand the group in good stead going forward.
Pic: Pretorius with, inset, Wentzel