The chief executive officer of Tiger Brands is to leave the role beginning at the end of this month.

Lawrence MacDougall will retire from the company effective Jan. 31, having reached the firm’s mandatory retirement age of 63.

MacDougall has been at the helm of Tiger Brands since May 2016. Prior to that he was executive vice president and regional president for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mondelez.

In March 2018, a listeriosis outbreak in South Africa was traced to a ready-to-eat processed meat product called polony made at a plant in Polokwane run by Enterprise Foods, which is owned by Tiger Brands. The outbreak began at the start of 2017 and ended in September 2018 with 1,065 confirmed cases and 218 deaths.

The current chief financial officer at Tiger, Noel Doyle, has been appointed as CEO effective Feb. 1.

Board chairman, Khotso Mokhele, 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.”

Tiger Brands said an update on the CFO position will be made in the future.

The company is considering selling its Value Added Meat Products (VAMP) business, which includes Enterprise Foods with the formal due diligence process underway. A strategic review was started in 2017 but the outbreak and closure of manufacturing facilities delayed the evaluation. When the business re-opened at the beginning of the 2019 financial year, a review was started.

Tiger Brands plans to fight a lawsuit relating to its part in the deadly outbreak. The first stage of the process deals with liability. Damages would be handled at a second stage if the court finds the firm liable.

Richard Spoor Attorneys is representing more than 1,000 people affected by the listeriosis outbreak. The Seattle firm of Marler Clark LLP is serving as a consultant for the case attorneys.

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