* Grant Pattison to resign as CEO from June 1
* Pattison engineered Wal-Mart sale
* Founder Lamberti has resigned as chairman
(Adds details and background)
By David Dolan
JOHANNESBURG, April 11 The chief executive of
South Africa's Massmart will step down this year, the
company said on Friday, after overseeing seven years of steady
growth and engineering the sale of a majority stake to U.S.
retailer Wal-Mart Stores.
Grant Pattison will be replaced by his deputy, Chief
Operating Officer Guy Hayward, from June 1, the discount
retailer said in a statement. He will remain on the board as a
non-executive director until the end of December.
Pattison is best known for steering the sale of a 53 percent
in Massmart to Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. The
high-profile 2011 deal was seen as a major vote of confidence in
the retail potential in Africa's most developed economy.
However, it also sparked months of wrangling with unions and
South Africa's government over conditions, including the use of
"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 shares were down 1.55 percent at 135.7 rand per
share by 0924 GMT, slightly underperforming the all-share index
which fell 1 percent.
Massmart Deputy Chairman Chris Seabrooke said the company
was "saddened" by Pattison's decision.
Hayward joined Massmart in 2000. Previously he worked at
Goldman Sachs in London.
The company also said Massmart founder Mark Lamberti had
stepped down as chairman and a director as of April 10. Lamberti
was recently appointed chief executive of logistics firm
Lamberti will be replaced by mining and investment executive
(Editing by Joe Brock)