Metcash CEO set to retire

by | Oct 8, 2021

Jeff AdamsMetcash Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Adams will step down from his role after notifying the board of his retirement today, with current Chief Executive Officer and Senior Vice President of South African-based Massmart Wholesale, Doug Jones to succeed him.

Metcash announced that the appointment of Mr Jones follows completion of a well-managed process, including a thorough global search instigated by the Board, after Mr Adams earlier indicated he was likely to retire in 2022.

Mr Adams joined Metcash in September 2017 and under his leadership the company has seen significant transformation and growth. According to Metcash, Mr Adams was responsible for the successful MFuture program designed to provide a pathway to sustainable growth, including significantly improving the competitiveness of retail networks, which positioned retailers well for the shift in shopper behaviour through COVID and was a key driver of record company sales in FY21.

In a public statement Metcash said Mr Adams had led Metcash courageously and calmly through the many challenges associated with COVID, quickly shifting the company’s focus to keeping staff and customers safe and ensuring supply chains remained open so that our retailers were able to continue servicing their local communities, as well as maintaining a strong financial position.

Metcash Chairman, Rob Murray said that Mr Adams, “worked tirelessly to deliver our purpose of championing the success of our independent retailers. The demands on Mr Adams through COVID have been considerable and were a factor in his decision to retire as Group CEO. His endurance and resilience during this period, which included not being able to see his US-based family, have been amazing. The Board and our stakeholders greatly appreciate Jeff’s dedication and efforts, and we wish him all the best for his return to the US and his family. He is leaving Metcash in a very strong position.”

Incoming Chief Executive Officer, Doug Jones will bring with him extensive experience in wholesale, retail and eCommerce experience, after spending the past 14 years with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Massmart group which is majority-owned by Walmart Inc. It has leading market positions in wholesale food, liquor, home improvement and general merchandise.

Mr Jones is currently CEO and Senior Vice President of Massmart Wholesale, which includes ‘big box’ format food, liquor, and general merchandise stores serving retail, commercial and wholesale customers; cash and carry stores; buying groups that service wholesale and independent retail customers; and a number of eCommerce platforms.

As a qualified Chartered Accountant Mr Jones has previously held senior finance positions in Makro SA, Amalgamated Beverages Industries Limited and The South African Breweries, all in Johannesburg, CocaCola Enterprises in Canada, and Deloitte in both Canada and South Africa.

Mr Murray said Mr Jones’ extensive and distinguished international experience across wholesale, retail and eCommerce markets made him the standout candidate to succeed Mr Adams.

“He is passionate about the success of independent retailers and we are looking forward to him joining us and taking the company forward,” Mr Murray concluded.

Mr Jones will join Metcash on 1 February 2022 and will work closely with Mr Adams on a smooth transition into the role.