JOHANNESBURG, April 11 The chief executive of
Massmart, the South African unit of U.S. retailer
Wal-Mart Stores, will step down on June 1 after seven
years at the helm of the discount retailer, the company said on
Grant Pattison will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer
Guy Hayward, Massmart said in a statement.
Pattison will remain on the board as a non-executive
director until the end of December.
"The group is in good shape and well positioned for growth
and I can think of no better time to hand over the reins,"
Massmart Deputy Chairman Chris Seabrooke said the company
was "saddened" by Pattison's decision.
Under his tenure, Massmart entered into food retailing,
expanded its presence in Africa and sold a 53 percent stake to
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer.
Hayward joined Massmart in 2000. Previously he worked at
Goldman Sachs in London. Massmart shares were down 0.4 percent
at 137.5 rand per share by 0836 GMT.
(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Joe Brock)