Heineken South Africa announces retirement of current CEO, yet to find successor

SOUTH AFRICA – Heineken South Africa has announced the retirement of its Managing Director, Gerrit van Loo, almost three years after he took over the helm of the company.

According to reports by Fin24, Van Loo is set to take an early retirement to spend time on personal pursuits and with his family.

“We would like to thank Gerrit for strong tenure at the business, during which he has kept the company on a growth path through a tumultuous time for the liquor industry and while facing numerous operational challenges as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns,” said Heineken in its statement.

The pandemic period has been quite eventful for the company as it was forced to drop plans to build a R6 billion (US$344.9m) brewery in KwaZulu-Natal following multiple alcohol bans instituted in the country.

Heineken also trimmed its workforce by 7% in 2021 necessitated by the tough trading environment.

Van Loo has been with Heineken for more than 33 years and has held several positions during that time, including Managing Director for the beermaker’s Ethiopia and Ireland, as well as regional export director.

The Netherlands-based company, which produces brands like Windhoek, Soweto Gold and Amstel has indicated that Van will leave the company in “due course” and his successor will be announced then.

“We would like to thank Gerrit for strong tenure at the business, during which he has kept the company on a growth path through a tumultuous time for the liquor industry and while facing numerous operational challenges as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns.”

Heineken

Heineken SA appoints new management team members

The brewer also recently announced the appointment of two new management team members in its South Africa unit.

Joy van Heerden was been appointed to the role of Digital and Technology Director, as of 15 February 2021.

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After joining the business in January 2019 as the IT manager, Van Heerden introduced a number of initiatives and foundational projects to solidify the IT function within the organisation.

With over 15 years’ experience in FMCG, Van Heerden developed a good understanding of the sales, distribution and marketing functions, which will be vital for her new role in the company and mission to make Heineken the most-connected brewer.

Van Heerden replaces Natalie Jantjies, who has taken a decision to step down from her role to pursue career interests outside of Heineken SA.

Heineken South Africa also announced the appointment of Vinicius Genio de Almeida as the Supply Chain Director and OpCo member.

De Almeida was appointed midway through 2020, but as a result of the travel restrictions put in place due to the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, he was only able to travel to and work in South Africa as of the end of 2020.

He joined Heineken Brazil in December 2014 as customer service, logistics and planning manager, which saw him developing an end-to-end supply chain, growing sales and operations, as well as improving the customer service function as a key business capability.

In Brazil, De Almeida was responsible for managing the end-to-end complexity of 15 breweries, 72 lines and 40 distribution centres.

Amongst other qualifications, he holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Faculdade de Engenharia Industrial and also completed Insead’s leadership programme in 2017.

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