Statutory Board Members


G Ackerman (Co-Chairman CGCSA)

Chairman, Pick n Pay Stores Ltd

Gareth Ackerman is the chairman of South African retail chain Pick n Pay Stores. As a family-controlled listed company founded by Raymond Ackerman in 1967, it is one of the region’s largest retailers in eight countries and employs more than 60,000 people. Mr Ackerman is a board member of the controlling company board Pick n Pay Holdings Limited, and chairs the family office and investment committee.

He is a member of the board of the Consumer Goods Forum and it’s vice co-chair for 2013-2015 and incoming Co-Chair 2015-2017. He is the African Chair of WPO and a global board member He is also chairman and co-founder of Pleiad Capital, which engages in private equity investment, corporate finance and strategic consulting.
He is a passionate contributor to the issue of global food security and sustainable development and is widely involved in philanthropy.
Mr Ackerman hold a bachelor of social science from the University of Cape Town and a CMS from the University of Oxford.
He is an associate fellow at Green Templeton College, Oxford, and lectures at a number of global universities.


G Mangozhe

Chief Executive Officer, CGCSA

Gwarega joined CGCSA in January 2012 from Internatio Mueller Chemicals Distribution (IMCD) South Africa (a subsidiary of the Rotterdam based IMCD Group), where he served as Financial Director. He has a Bachelor of Business Science (Finance Honours) degree from the University of Cape Town and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. He then went on to complete his MBA as well as an Executive Development Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Prior to joining IMCD South Africa, Gwarega held senior management positions in Sales, Operations and Finance at Avis Fleet Services South Africa, a division of the Barloworld Group. He also has extensive knowledge of the public sector as he has consulted with several government entities in the areas of compliance, strategy and organisational re-engineering.



Chairman, Smollan Holdings

Doug matriculated in 1963 at King Edward School in Johannesburg. He attended the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and qualified with a Bachelor of Commerce and achieved his Masters in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa 1975. In 1968 upon attaining his Masters degree his father, Fred Smollan who founded the Group in 1931, handed Doug the Smollan Group and has since then developed it over 42 years. Smollan Group roughly employs 56 000 people and has a presence in 5 continents.

Doug served as President of Young Presidents Organisation Worldwide in 94/95, the second Non- American in 50 years at that time.
He is passionate about South Africa, its people and its development. He was Chairman of Business Against Crime (“BAC’), Gauteng in 1997. In 2000, he joined BAC’s National Board. Doug chairs up the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa Anti-Crime initiative since 2000. Doug is a Pioneer of the Nelson Mandela: “The Champion Within” Programme with Life College to develop 1 million champions by 2020.

He also has an interest in Stellenbosch Vineyards, which is a wine producer and one of the top five exporters, taking its portfolio of award-winning wines to 39 countries around the globe. He also has varied wild life and conservation investments throughout South Africa, namely Inyati, Birds of Eden, Jukani and Monkeyland.

Doug and Carolyn have been married for 44 years. They are blessed with 3 sons, David, Paul and Michael, their spouses and 3 grandsons. Doug lives by the mottos “Life’s for real, it ain’t no rehearsal” and “If you are green you grow, if you are ripe you rot”.


G Kirk

CEO Exclusive Books

Grattan Joined Tiger Brands in July 2013, following a successful stint as JD Group Chief Executive Officer since June 2008. He has 13 year’s experience in the auditing and retail industry. He was appointed CEO of Connection Group Holdings Ltd in 2003. After JD Group acquired Connection Group Holdings Limited in 2005, Grattan served as Chief Executive of the Cash Division, encompassing HI-Fi Corporation and Incredible Connection as well as assuming responsibility of ABRA, the Group’s International brand in Poland. In May 2007, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Traditional and Cash Retail divisions.


Bruno Olierhoek

Nestlé South Africa, Managing Director and Chairman for the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR)

Bruno Olierhoek joined Nestlé South Africa as the Managing Director and Chairman for the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) in August 2018, a region comprising of 23 countries.

Prior to assuming his current position, Bruno was the CEO of Nestlé Pakistan, a position he held from July 2015 until the appointment to his current position. In Pakistan, he was also President of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry, representing 191 international companies from 35 countries, covering 14 sectors of the economy with assets of $83 billion.

Bruno has worked as an international executive within Nestlé for more than 20 years serving in different and diverse markets such as Asia, Europe and Africa. He joined the company in Indonesia in 1995 as a management trainee.

He has diverse cross-functional experience and has successfully led a business turnaround, established new startups and engaged in global business strategy developments.

Bruno’s achievements include leading the Nestlé Pakistan business to cross the milestone of delivering annual sales of over CHF 1 Billion in 2016. He aggressively drove the digital transformation of the market, to leave Nestlé Pakistan achieving more online sales than any other FMCG company in Pakistan today.

Throughout his career, Bruno has championed Creating Shared Value (CSV) initiatives to strengthen the business and build trust. During his time in CWAR, he focused on improving the safety and health standards in Nestlé’s Central African operations, which led to Nestlé becoming the founding member of ‘Safe Way, Right Way,’ which promotes road safety. He also spearheaded a ‘Malaria Eradication Campaign’ which won the Global Nestlé, ‘Health by Choice’ award.

Bruno is a graduate of the European Business Programme (BBA, Hogeschool Rotterdam and Ecole Supérieure de Bordeaux). He is a dual Dutch and French national. He is married with three children.

Spencer Sonn_3_UNC.tif

S Sonn

Managing Director, Woolworths Foods SA

Spencer is the Managing Director of Woolworths Foods Division. After undergraduate study in Social Science at UCT, he joined Woolworths in 1995 as a Store Trainee Manager. He spent 6 years in Store Management and then joined the Foods Division as a Buyer in Fresh Produce in 2001. Since then he has held various management roles across both Fresh and Long Life Foods. He held the position of Trading Head for Long Life Food for five years before being appointed as the Managing Director of Woolworths Foods in September 2015. In the same year, he completed the GMP Executive Education Programme at Harvard University.


C Maponya

CEO, Maponya Group

Chichi is currently Managing Director of Maponya Group, responsible for all business activities of Maponya Group subsidiaries, management, growth and diversification strategy. Chichi is founder and Director of Nalesa Resources, a women owned company focusing on mining, procurement and commodities trading. She previously served on several other boards; Intertoll Africa, Sitech Systems and Kwezi V3 among others, and is trustee of the Marina Maponya Memorial Fund. She has hosted a number of events including Tourism Indaba in1994 and was TV presenter for programme that encouraged domestic tourism in SA. She is a graduate from the University of Natal with a BComm Degree.


R Behrens

Financial Executive, Tiger Brands

Russel currently occupies the position of Financial Executive of the Grains division within Tiger Food Brands comprising Milling, Baking, Cereals, Rice and Sorghum Beverages. He holds a B.Com degree and a Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy from the University of Cape Town and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. After beginning his career with Langeberg Co-operative in Cape town, he has held various senior financial positions across the Tiger Brands businesses over the last 25 years.


M Neethling - B Soc Sci (Economics, Politics, Bus Admin), MBA

Business Executive: Groceries, Pioneer Foods

Martin Neethling has extensive strategic marketing and management experience gained during a career spanning 30 years. During this time he held various directorships and senior management roles in the retail, advertising and FCMG sectors. Most notably he was previously the Managing Director of Berry Bush BBDO, Marketing and Financial Services Director at the Ackermans Group and Chairman of Jay-Jays. He joined Pioneer Foods in 2015 and served as Chief Marketing Officer until 1 July 2017, when he was appointed executive of the Groceries Division. As an Associate at the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing he has amassed significant insight and understanding of the South African consumer landscape – important skills which he brings to his portfolio.

Martin joined the Group in October 2015.


B Botten

Divisional Managing Director, SPAR Southrand

Brett was appointed as the Divisional Managing Director at SPAR South Rand in April 2010. He joined SPAR in the Eastern Cape in 1994 in the position of Sales Manager and was promoted to Managing Director of that division in 1999. He has since then held the positions of Divisional Managing Director of both SPAR Lowveld and SPAR North Rand.

Brett completed his tertiary studies at the university of Port Elizabeth and qualified as a Charted Accountant in 1989. He completed his basic training in the military service at Voortrekkerhoogte in 1990 and completed the year as part of the Eastern Cape Internal Audit Unit. Prior to joining SPAR, Brett held other positions at Hella as Financial Accountant and Sales Manager: Aftermarket Sales between the years 1991 to 1994.
When he has spare time, Brett enjoys sport and the outdoors, reading books, spending time with his family and listening to music; his interests lie in business, leadership and wine collection.


S Zoueihid

CEO, British American Tobacco

Soraya Zoueihed was appointed as Area Director of BAT Southern Africa Area in January 2016, following three years as General Manager at BAT France. Soraya joined the BAT Group over 19 years ago and has held several senior management roles in Finance in many markets, including Egypt, Switzerland and the UK. She counts her time in France as a career highlight and found her perfect fit in General Management and the challenge of a turnaround business in a very complex environment. With a passion for the business and its people, Soraya believes it is a challenging, yet exciting time for British American Tobacco South Africa, offering many new opportunities. Soraya lives in Cape Town with her husband and young son.


R Rushton

Distell, Managing Director

Richard joined Distell on 1 November 2013. Richard’s role is to ensure that the company delivers on its key objectives. He is also responsible for building a high performance culture within the company. Richard obtained his BCom degree from University of Witwatersrand in 1985. He has extensive knowledge of the local and international liquor industry both in a commercial and marketing capacity having worked in senior leadership roles in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Richard is married with two children.

Tesco, April 2012. David North

David North

Group Executive – Strategy and Corporate Affairs Pick n Pay Stores

David joined Pick n Pay in January 2014 as Group Executive – Strategy and Corporate Affairs. Before joining the business, he was Executive Director of the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester.

David worked for Tesco plc between 2002 and 2012 as Community and Government Director, and subsequently as UK Corporate Affairs Director. Prior to that, he specialised in domestic and European Union policy in central government in the UK, and was Private Secretary to UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair between 1999 and 2001. David holds a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford.



CEO, Unilever

Luc-Olivier Marquet, Executive Vice President of Unilever South Africa has 23 years experience in the FMCG industry, most of which was spent in developing and emerging markets.

He worked for the L’Oreal group in Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Miami and the Philippines until 2013 as well and led as the President and Managing Director of L’Oreal in the Philippines.

His background includes  working in Marketing (Brand Building and Brand Development), before moving to Customer Development as a Key Account Manager, then into Travel Retail (Europe and Americas). He has 10 years experience as a Country Managing Director with L’Oreal.

He joined Unilever in August 2013 as Vice President for Unilever West Africa and Vice Chairman for the Board of Unilever Ghana Limited.

He was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Unilever Cote D’Ivoire. In that role he was responsible for developing Unilever business in the 13 countries west of Nigeria, which includes 3 operating companies (Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, and Niger) and representation offices.

David worked for Tesco plc between 2002 and 2012 as Community and Government Director, and subsequently as UK Corporate Affairs Director. Prior to that, he specialised in domestic and European Union policy in central government in the UK, and was Private Secretary to UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair between 1999 and 2001. David holds a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford.

28_8L8A8033_Helen adjusted



Helen is the General Manager at Mars Multisales Africa. Mars Multisales Africa is a division of Mars Incorporated, a global family owned business that employs over 100 000 associates around the world, well known for producing global brands such as M&M’s®, Snickers®, Pedigree®, Whiskas®, Royal Canin®, Orbit® & Airwaves® gum, Royco® and many more.

As General Manager, she is responsible for the performance of the Southern African unit across all the major dimensions. She is accountable for every line of the unit’s P&L and how the unit makes a difference to people and planet through performance. Ultimately she is responsible for managing Vision and Purpose of the unit, driving performance, nurturing our culture, building the talent pipeline and enhancing our reputation.

Prior to joining Mars, Helen worked for Kimberly Clark, Gillette/P&G, Kellogg’s, EMI Music and Danone.

Helen holds a Diploma in Medical Technology from Wits University as well as a Diploma in Sales and Marketing from the Graduate School of Marketing (IMM). She also studied Advanced Leadership at the Stellenbosch University and in 2018 successfully completed the Mars General Manager Development program. Over the years, she has been nominated for or won many industry awards including the Standard Bank Rising Star Award, various Sales and Industry Awards, and was also nominated for the Standard Bank Woman in Business of the Year 2014 award for demonstrating her commitment to excellence.

Helen and her partner, Brad, have three children. She is passionate about family and is also a Pet loving Mom to 2 beautiful cats, a Labrador and a tortoise. During her spare time, she enjoys participating in various kinds of sports, reading and spending quality time with her family.