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.


L Steenveldt

Group Commercial Executive Massmart, Chairperson GS1 Council

Llewellyn graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1991 as a Physical Metallurgist and has an MBA from Wits Business School. After seven years with Tongaat-Hulett group and three years with the Industrial Development Corporation, He joined Massmart as a Business Analyst in 2002. He has since held various positions within the Group, including Executive Assistant to the CEO and Managing Director of Builders Express. Llewellyn was appointed Group Commercial Executive and joined the Massmart Executive Committee in July 2009.

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.


AR Moosa

Executive Director, Willowton Group

Abdul is currently Executive Director of Willowton Group. The Willowton Group having started in 1970 from humble beginnings is today the largest manufacturer of cooking oil in South Africa. It is South Africa’s second largest margarine and candle manufacturer. The Willowton Group produces household and toilet soaps. It is a supplier to all the supermarket groups, independent wholesalers and retailers as well as industrial and other snack processors.


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.


P Verhaak

General Manager Parmalat

Paul Verhaak was born in Heusden aan de Maas in Holland. A main agricultural and dairy region in Holland. Studied Commercial Economics at Hogeschool Breda. MBA in Rotterdam. 35 years of experience in the dairy industry. Started as a trainee with Leerdammer Cheese Company, today part of Bell France. He joined Lactalis in the early 1990’s and worked as a commercial director mainly in the Benelux and Northern Europe. Joined FrieslandCampina in 2000 and worked as General Manager in the Benelux, In Food Service in Europe, worked and lived for 4 year in Ghana as General Manager Western Africa. Moved in 2012 back to Lactalis where he was responsible during 3 years for the world-wide development of Milk powder and based in Paris. Since June 2015 General Manager of Parmalat South Africa and based in Stellenbosch.


R Rushton

Managing Director, Distell

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.

Brian Ayling

B Ayling

General Manager, Mars Multisales Africa

General Manager, Sub Saharan Africa for Mars Inc

Brian Ayling is the General Manager, Sub Saharan Africa for Mars Inc. In 2016 the region restructured into a consolidated Mars Multisales business unit, managing all four of the Mars segment businesses of Petcare, Food, Confectionary (Chocolate, Gum and Candy). His accountabilities include regional strategy development, operational delivery, talent pipeline and HPT culture. Prior to taking on this role Brian spent 10 years working for Mars Inc. in the Middle East region in a number of different roles including Regional Managing Director MEA for the Wrigley segment of Mars Inc. and Developing Categories Director for the MENAT region, with oversight of a portfolio of Mars Inc. categories. Brian joined Mars Inc. in South Africa in 2001 as marketing manager and also held roles as Sales Director, Confectionery category director and has lead the Sub Saharan export market division.

Having spent his entire career in FMCG in a variety of roles working for Unilever, Tiger Brands and McCain Foods and owning his own confectionary business. Brian was born in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa to complete his University studies and has completed programs at Harvard, London Business Schools’ and the Centre for Creative Leadership as well as numerous Leadership Development programs during his tenure with Mars Inc. Brian is married with 2 teenage daughters.

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.