JOHANNESBURG, April 11 (Reuters) - 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 Friday.
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,” Pattison said.
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)