Tiger Brands is set to see the departure of CEO Noel Doyle after two decades serving in various roles at the South Africa food group.

Doyle, who transitioned up the ladder from finance chief in January 2020, will be replaced by Tjaart Kruger from 1 November. Kruger was once CEO at another South African FMCG business, the Premier Group.

The outgoing Doyle has been at publicly-listed Tiger Brands since 2003, although he worked at other companies from 2008 to 2012 before returning to the business. He held the seat of chief operating officer for just over a year before moving to CFO.

“Following the board’s annual review of the company’s strategy, the board concluded that new leadership was required to respond to the challenges currently facing the company,” Tiger Brands said in a filing with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange today (20 October), accompanied by a profit warning for the year to 30 September.

The statement added it had been “jointly agreed that Noel will step down as chief executive officer of the company and accordingly as executive director and member of the social, ethics and transformation committee”.

Doyle was acknowledged for guiding Tiger Brands through Covid, civil unrest in South Africa, supply chain bottlenecks and inflation. “In this period, the company’s underlying operating profit trajectory was stabilised and there have been many significant improvements in key internal operating metrics,” the Beacon Allsorts confectionery brand owner said.

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He will remain at Tiger Brands until 31 March to assist with the transition process.

However, Tjaart’s contract as CEO at Tiger Brands is only for 26 months.

“The board believes that this appointment will provide certainty to the company, the market and other key stakeholders and accelerate the execution of the company’s strategy and value creation for shareholders,” Tiger Brands added.

Tjaart, who was CEO of Premier from 2011 to 2021, also once served at Tiger Brands, holding the role of managing director of the pharmaceuticals and grains divisions from 2001 to 2007, according to the company.

Tiger Brands will also see the departure of another key executive on 31 December, CFO Deepa Sita. She announced her resignation in July to pursue a “new opportunity in Australia”, according to a separate statement issued at the time by the company.

The Albany bakery and Cresta rice brand owner also had a profit warning for its full-year results ahead of the final numbers due on 1 December.

For the year to 30 September, Tiger Brands said earnings per share (EPS) are likely to be 2% to 9% lower than the 1,762.2 South African cents ($92.3) reported for the previous 12 months.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) are expected to be down by 2-5% from the 1,702.4 cents posted in the corresponding period, the company said.

“The variation of the EPS range when compared to the range provided for HEPS, is due to the non-recurrence of certain capital profit items accounted for in EPS, which were excluded from HEPS in FY-22,” Tiger Brands explained.

It also warned operating profits will be lower due to the “ongoing challenges of fully recovering higher input costs, [which] persisted in the second half, resulting in marginally lower volumes”.

Tiger Brands noted “poor performances” in rice, bakeries, groceries, and snacks and treats, “with the latter two businesses operating in categories marked by absolute volume declines”.

However, the business is seeing “good performances” in other areas – the foodservice channel, beverages, and home and personal care.