SOUTH AFRICA – Libstar, one of South Africa’s leading Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers and distributors, has named its current group CFO Charl de Villiers as its new CEO, to officially take the helm of the company from 1 January 2023.

The appointment follows the announcement of retirement of the company’s CEO and Co-founder Andries van Rensburg, at the end of the year.

Andries co-founded Libstar in 2005 with the vision of building a value-added consumer goods business.

Guiding and instilling the company’s entrepreneurial spirit, the group was built from its humble beginnings to a group of 17 decentralised divisions spanning a diverse value-added food product and channel base.

Andries was instrumental in the Group’s transition from a private to a public company in 2018 and during the last two years he navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting Libstar’s people, its customers and the financial stability of the group.

“As a board we are indebted to Andries for his invaluable leadership and building such a strong foundation and team. We wish him well in his well-deserved retirement,” said Libstar chairman Wendy Luhabe.

Commenting on his departure, outgoing CEO Andries van Rensburg said, “Libstar has been an integral part of my life for 17 years and although I will miss it deeply, I leave it in the very capable hands of our 7,000-strong family of employees led by a solid leadership team. I have no doubt in Charl’s ability to lead the business and to take the group forward.

“We are proud of the breadth of skills at the operational level, which has ensured that our key relationships are not held by only a few people. Charl has worked closely with me and our management teams, supported by a strong financial team.”

Pegged to take over the helm, Charl will continue to drive the repositioning of the group’s portfolio towards a higher-growth and value-added food portfolio, as well as the growth of its categories and channels through both organic expansion and acquisitions.

The board expressed its confidence for choosing Charl for the position due to his in-depth understanding of the business and strategy of the group, saying he had worked alongside Van Rensburg and the management team since joining Libstar in 2017.

“He has also been instrumental in the development of the group’s strategy and has a deep understanding of the commercial, financial and operational disciplines of the group. He has strong relationships with the management teams and stakeholders,” said Wendy.

Charl is a Chartered Accountant and LLB graduate, with a unique combination of legal and financial qualifications, which provides a breadth of technical competence, strategic problem-solving skills and attention to detail. 

“I am truly excited about leading the Libstar family. I feel honoured to have worked so closely with the co-founders from the start of my time at Libstar,” he said.

The board also announced that Cornél Lodewyks, who currently serves as managing executive of Lancewood, Libstar’s largest operating division, has been appointed as an executive director and member of the Libstar board, with effect from 1 January 2023.

With more than 20 years of consumer-packaged goods experience, Cornél’s knowledge of the industry has been instrumental in the success of Lancewood.

He joined Lancewood in 2011 and was promoted to managing executive in 2015.

Cornél will continue in his role as managing executive of Lancewood, whilst supporting the group management team in the implementation of its strategic initiatives.

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