Tiger Brands share price jumps on news that CEO Noel Doyle has been axed
Doyle has been with the group for over 20 years and in the hot seat for four.
Tiger Brands’ share price leapt by as much as 20.8% on Friday, after news that its CEO, Noel Doyle, would step down after almost four years at the top.
The share price had steadied in the late afternoon, trading at just over 10% stronger than this morning’s opening
The producer of Koo Baked Beans, Jungle Oats and Beacon sweets announced that, after an annual review of the company’s strategy, the board had resolved that new leadership was required to respond to “current challenges”.
Doyle would also step down as executive director and member of the social, ethics and transformation committee.
The packaged goods company said during his tenure as CEO, Doyle and his team had navigated the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest, global supply changes and high levels of inflation. While the company had stabilised, there have been significant improvements in key internal operating metrics. Doyle had been with the company for more than 20 years.
The board thanked him for his contribution and wished him well for the future.
Tjaart Kruger — a chartered accountant with more than 30 years’ leadership experience at leading FMCG companies — replaces Doyle as CEO effective 1 November.
Tiger Brands said Kruger had honed his career through previous experience at Tiger Brands, where he was managing director of the pharmaceuticals and grains divisions from 2001 to 2007, and his most recent leadership role as CEO of Premier Foods from 2011 — 2021.
He is on a 26-month contract with the group.
Doyle will “remain available to Tiger Brands until 31 March 2024 to facilitate a proper handover”.
He was appointed CEO in 2020 — three years after the listeriosis crisis that was traced to Tiger Brands’ Polokwane meat processing facility.
More than 200 people died and thousands were sickened after eating processed meat from the facility.
Tiger Brands denies it is legally liable for the harm, despite the National Institute of Communicable Diseases’ investigation which identified it as the source of the outbreak.
Human rights attorney Richard Spoor, in partnership with LHL Attorneys and Marler Clark, the leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness outbreaks, is representing victims of the outbreak in a class action lawsuit.
The group simultaneously announced that its operating income for the year ended 30 September 2023 will be lower than FY22 as higher input costs had resulted in marginally lower volumes and higher-than-expected retrenchment.
While its Beverages, Home & Personal Care, Tiger Food Services Solutions, Exports and Deciduous Fruit divisions had performed well, Rice, Bakeries, Groceries and Snacks & Treats had seen absolute volume declines.
Headline earnings per share, a profit measure, is expected to differ by between 5% and 2%.
Tiger Brands’ results are expected to be released on 1 December 2023. DM