Spar CEO Hook Resigns as Wife Battles Serious Illness

Spar Group Ltd. (SPP), a South African food and liquor retailer, said Chief Executive Officer Wayne Hook will step down after his wife was diagnosed with an undisclosed life-threatening illness.

Hook, who has been CEO for seven years, will leave the post on Jan. 31, the Durban-based company said in a statement today. Graham O’Connor, a former managing director of the company’s regional unit in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province, will replace him. Hook will remain a director of the company, according to the statement.

“Spar has been Wayne’s priority for the past 29 years and he now believes that his wife and family have to be his main priority,” the company said. “His decision is underpinned by his view that if, as chief executive officer, he cannot be fully and completely committed to the position, he should make way for a person who can meet such requirements.”

Spar shares fell as much as 1.6 percent and traded 0.5 percent lower at 122.36 rand as of 3:05 p.m. in Johannesburg. The company is scheduled to release full-year earnings tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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