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Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher to step down in April, retailer announces

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Retail giant Pick n Pay have announced on Thursday 14 January that current CEO Richard Brasher will stop down from the helm later this year to be replaced by former Metro AG COO Pieter Boone. 

Brasher’s last day on the job will be 21 April 2021, and he will be replaced by Boone immediately thereafter, with his successor boasting an impressive resume that includes top positions at major retailers across the world.

Pick n Pay laud performance of outgoing CEO 

Pick n Pay Chairman Gareth Ackerman, son of founder Raymond Ackerman, said on Thursday that Brasher’s departure is unfortunate, but that since he took the reigns in 2013, the company has grown from strength to strength. 

“We are naturally very sad to be announcing Richard’s departure.  He has led a remarkable turnaround in our company, and the Pick n Pay Group is immeasurably stronger now than when Richard took over in 2013,” he said.  “He has almost doubled Pick n Pay’s store network, and has grown turnover from R55 billion when he joined the company to almost R90 billion.”

He said that “as well as delivering consistent and sustainable profit growth, modernising the Pick n Pay business, expanding our offer and transforming our efficiency”, Brasher has led the transformation of Pick’s holding company Boxer into Africa’s fastest-growing limited range discounter.

“Today’s announcement is very much a planned succession,” said Ackerman, adding that Brasher originally told the board of his intention to step down over a year ago.

“I am grateful to him for agreeing so readily to remain at the helm through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis, and until we had identified a suitable successor.”

New CEO enters with wealth of retail experience  

On Brasher’s successor, Ackerman said that Boone had stood out among a wide range of highly qualified candidates that had been considered, and lauded the CEO elect’s global retail experience on account of his successful track record of over 25 years of leadership experience in the retail, food service and wholesale sectors. 

Boone is a Dutch national currently living in The Netherlands, and spent the majority of his career to date in senior roles in Metro AG, a leading international business in the food and hospitality sector, and SHV Holdings NV, one of the world’s largest private trading groups, which includes the major Makro Cash & Carry wholesale business.

His latest role was as COO and Member of the Management Board of Metro AG, based out of Germany.  Prior to that, Pieter was Chief Executive Officer of Metro Cash & Carry in Russia, one of Metro’s largest business units.

Boone said that he is “delighted to be joining the Pick n Pay team at this time”.  

“Retail is changing throughout the world, and my job will be to ensure that the Pick n Pay Group is at the forefront of change – earning the lifetime loyalty of more customers by giving them more, better and new ways to shop with Pick n Pay and Boxer,” he said. 

“The past year has been challenging and tough in South Africa and in so many other parts of the world.  But I have huge faith in the ability of the country and the continent to triumph in the coming years, and cannot wait to get started on this journey,” he said.

Brasher: I’m proud of the work we have done’ 

Outgoing CEO Brasher said that despite his sadness in leaving the company, he is extremely proud of the work he has done while in charge. 

“My aim when joining Pick n Pay eight years ago was simply to leave the business in a much stronger position than I found it.  I am extremely grateful to my team and the whole Pick n Pay and Boxer family for helping me to deliver this goal.”

“The past year in particular has been the most unforgettable of my long career.  In the face of the most incredible headwinds, our business and our people have stood strong, taken every challenge in their stride, and worked harder than ever before.”

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Buhari approves N6.45billion oxygen plants for COVID-19 treatment

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Ministries, Departments, Agencies, MDAs, and business enterprises to grant access to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to their systems for the purposes of tax collection.

The President issued the directive on Thursday at the First Annual National Tax Dialogue organized by the FIRS in Abuja.

Buhari also ordered the FIRS to “immediately put all measures in place to fully implement programmes to stamp out Base Erosion and Profit Shifting in all of its ramifications and generally automate its tax processes.”

He urged the FIRS to fast-track its digitalization of the tax collection process.

“I have directed all government agencies and business enterprises to grant FIRS access to their systems for connection. We all are now living in a fast digitalising world.

“As such, business transactions are continually being migrated from “brick and mortar” locations to digital places.

“However, It is necessary for tax authorities to adopt digital means to efficiently track taxable transactions for the purpose of collecting taxes.

“We also made necessary amendments to the FIRS Establishment Act in the Finance Act 2020 in order to provide the necessary legislative framework for adopting technology in tax administration,” he said.

Speaking also, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, revealed that the FIRS would match on to digitalize the tax process fully.

He also thanked the President and all other stakeholders that worked together to implement the necessary laws for their continued support to the service.

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Newspaper front pages from around the world, Thursday 21 January 2021

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The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States dominated newspaper headlines across the world. After a turbulent four years in office, which culminated in the insurrection at the US Capitol two weeks ago, Donald Trump has finally left the White House.

Newspapers celebrated a new dawn for the people of America. We take a look at how the major publications reported on the historic event.

NEW YORK TIMES – ‘DEMOCRACY HAS PREVAILED’

The New York Times front page depicted newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden embracing his wife Dr Jill Biden, after he was sworn in yesterday. Four stories on the front page looked at Donal Trump’s departure from the White House, Kamal Harris being sworn in as Vice President of the US and the heavy security arrangements at the ceremony.

WASHINGTON POST – A SOMBER TURN TOWARDS THE PRESIDENCY

Joe Biden’s inauguration took on a more sombre tone in the Washington Post, as the new president paid homage to the 400 000 Americans who have died of COVID-19.

LOS ANGELES TIMES – BIDEN INAUGURATED

The LA Times played things straight down the line, and acknowledged Kamala Harris’s historic moment.

WALL STREET JOURNAL – BIDEN CALLS FOR UNITY

The Wall Street Journal focused on Biden’s call for unity in the US.

THE GUARDIAN – ‘DEMOCRACY HAS PREVAILED’

The Guardian’s striking front page picture of Biden’s inauguration speech.

DAILY MAIL – DON’S GONE – LET’S GO, JOE!

The Daily Mail as always has a bit of fun with the juxtaposition of Donald Trump leaving and the Bidens moving in.

THE CITIZEN – ‘DEMOCRACY’S DAY’

The Citizen in the US hailed ‘democracy day’ across its front page, with a list of Biden’s top priorities.

NEW INDIAN EXPRESS – DAY OF DEMOCRACY, SAYS PREZ BIDEN

The New Indian Express list the challenges Biden immediately faces in office.

CHINA DAILY – CHINA-US RELATIONS LIKELY TO IMPROVE

In China, Biden’s inauguration was not more important than the 2022 Olympic Games.

JAPAN TIMES – A NEW CHAPTER

Meanwhile, in Japan, Biden’s inauguration was worthy of a picture and caption on the front page.

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