SOUTH AFRICA — After 45 years at the helm of Dis-Chem, Ivan Saltzman, who co-founded the company with his wife Lynette in 1978, will step down as the chief executive officer at the end of June 2023.

However, Saltzman will continue to serve as an executive director on the board and remain an active member of the executive management team, focusing on the group’s commitment to accelerate retail space growth and trade within the retail store network.

Taking over as the new CEO from 1 July is Rui Morais, the current chief financial officer of the group.

Morais has been with Dis-Chem since 2010 and has played a crucial role as CFO and a member of the executive leadership team since August 2012.

He has been deeply involved in shaping the group’s strategy over the past 11 years.

To ensure the long-term success of the company, Saltzman has committed to divest 32.25 million Dis-Chem ordinary shares, representing 3.75% of the company’s issued share capital, to Morais and a group of key senior executives.

Larry Nestadt, Dis-Chem’s chairman, praised Saltzman as an extraordinary retailer who has transformed retail pharmacy.

Under Saltzman’s leadership, Dis-Chem has evolved from a family business into a leading listed corporate entity, firmly established as a prominent South African retail pharmacy chain.

Nestadt expressed confidence in the carefully planned leadership succession and the ability of the team, under Morais’ stewardship, to fulfill the group’s strategic ambitions.

Reflecting on his tenure, Saltzman highlighted the tremendous growth of the business over the past 45 years, expanding from a single store to become the largest retail pharmacy chain in South Africa.

He expressed his confidence in the future leadership team, emphasizing their shared commitment to the brand’s fundamentals.

Saltzman intends to continue working closely with his wife Lynette, spending time in the stores and ensuring that the staff maintains the value and service that have defined the brand.

Morais expressed his excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to lead the Dis-Chem group. He acknowledged the leadership philosophy that has shaped the Dis-Chem brand, emphasizing the commitment to delivering value and access to healthcare for patients and customers.

Morais sees this philosophy, combined with recent strategic investments, as the foundation for building an integrated healthcare ecosystem.

As an important healthcare service provider and a gateway to healthcare delivery, Dis-Chem aims to increase access to quality and affordable private healthcare for more South Africans.

By doing so, the company strives to solidify its position as South Africa’s healthcare authority and deliver differentiated returns to its shareholders.

In addition, Julia Pope, the current executive head of finance, will succeed Morais as the chief financial officer.

Pope, who brings 19 years of retail experience to the role, has been working closely with Morais since her appointment in 2017 and will assume her new responsibilities as CFO and an executive director on the board starting from 1 July 2023.

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