South Africa-based food group Tiger Brands has announced that CEO Lawrence MacDougall is to step down from the role and will be replaced by current chief financial officer Noel Doyle.

MacDougall, who is retiring having reached the Jungle Oats and Tastic rice maker’s mandatory retirement age of 63, will step down on Friday (31 January) with Doyle taking the helm the following day.

Speaking about MacDougall, who has has headed Tiger Brands since 2016, Dr Khotso Mokhele, chairman of the company’s board, said: “We want to thank Lawrence for almost four years of devoted service which involved many accomplishments and wish him all the best in his upcoming retirement and future endeavours.

“After a rigorous and extensive search process, the board and I are pleased to have appointed someone of Noel’s calibre, experience and ability to fill the CEO position.”

The Johannesburg-listed company said it will update the market on the CFO position in due course.

MacDougall headed up the business during 2018 when a listeria outbreak linked to a factory owned by its subsidiary Enterprise Foods in Polokwane led to several hundred deaths.

In November, Tiger Brands launched a review of its value-added meat products division following the outbreak which led to a product recall of its polony chilled-meat products.