SOUTH AFRICA – Famous Brands non-executive director, Kevin Hedderwick has resigned with immediate effect after 18 years of service at the group.

He joined the Famous Brands in February 2000 as Managing Director for the Steers Brand.

As Group Chief Executive of Famous Brands Limited, his primary remit was Group Strategy with an overarching focus on growth of the business and unlocking value for stakeholders.

He also worked as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at Long4life Limited.

With excellent business record, combining food, beverages and franchising, Hedderwick experience and expertise has enabled Famous Brands consistently exceed expectations and defy tough trading conditions in its South African home market.

“It has been a privilege to be associated with Famous Brands for the past 18 years.

I wish the group every success for the future,” Hedderwick said in the statement.

Hedderwick was Famous Brands CEO before he was succeeded by Darren Hele in February 2016, and remained an executive director in charge of new acquisitions until April 2017, when he became a non-executive director.

“Kevin’s contribution to the business is widely acknowledged and respected.

He leaves an indelible legacy in Famous Brands, having been instrumental in overseeing the transformation of the group from a small, two-brand company with a limited supply chain into a vast vertically integrated enterprise.

We wish him well on his retirement,” chairwoman Santie Botha said.

As CEO at Famous Brands, Kevin was instrumental in growing the number of brands managed by Famous Brands.

In 2016, the company acquired the premium UK burger restaurant chain GBK in a US$173 million, to add to its Wimpy brand in the country.

In the same year, the company also acquired a 51% stake in Salsa Mexican Grill and in the Kwa-Zulu Natal based Lupa Osteria brand of Italian restaurants.

In an interview with Fin24 in October last year, the company’s chief executive officer Darren Hele said that Famous Brands had seen fewer opportunities to open new stores in Africa, outside of its home market than in past years as the property sector in several countries in the region had slowed.