Imperial Holdings Ltd., owner of South Africa’s biggest car dealership network, said Chief Executive Officer Hubert Brody will step down in the first half of 2014 after six years at the head of the company.
“Hubert has indicated that he wishes to spend more time with his family and that it is a good time to hand over to a new leader given the strength of the group,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today. Brody will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
Brody, 49, joined the company in 2000 and was named CEO in June 2007. He has made a “significant contribution to the group and was instrumental in positioning Imperial with a clear strategy, a strong balance sheet as well as an established and experienced leadership team,” the company said.
Imperial sales advanced to 92.38 billion rand ($9.12 billion) in the year through June, compared with 54.45 billion rand in fiscal 2007. Gross profit rose to 8.16 billion rand from 4.64 billion rand in that period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“It’s a little bit of a surprise,” Roy Mutooni, an analyst at Renaissance Capital, said by phone from Johannesburg. “He has probably picked the right moment. The good thing is that the company is well structured in terms of succession planning.”
Imperial Holdings shares fell 1.1 percent to 218.48 rand at the market close in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 45.9 billion rand.