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Clicks appoints Engelbrecht as its first female chief executive

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Clicks has appointed Bertina Engelbrecht as its first female chief executive. Engelbrecht, 58, an admitted attorney and the group’s corporate affairs director, has been appointed as chief executive-designate. She starts in January, making her South Africa’s first black female to lead a JSE-listed retail group.

Clicks Bertina
Dineo Faku | IOL

Engelbrecht will take the top post after the resignation of Vikesh Ramsunder, who held the position for three years after taking the helm of the beauty, health and pharmaceutical retailer. Ramsunder will step down at the end of December to take up the post as a chief executive at an Australian listed company, Clicks said last week.

Ramsunder is expected to continue as a strategic adviser to the group until the end of August, next year.

Engelbrecht joined the group in 2006 as group human resources director and was appointed as an executive director in 2008.

She was previously general manager for Shell SA Energy and regional human resources manager for Shell Oil Products Africa.

She is also a former director of organisational effectiveness at Sea Harvest, managed her own consultancy practice and spent eight years with state logistics firm Transnet.

Clicks group chairperson David Nurek said Engelbrecht was the first black female to lead a listed retail group in South Africa.

He said Engelbrecht had been part of the executive leadership team for the past 15 years and been integrally involved in the development of the group’s strategy and growth of the business over this time.

“Appointing an internal successor of Bertina’s calibre highlights the depth of talent and commitment to sustainable transformation and human capital development within the company,” said Nurek.

He said Ramsunder has demonstrated outstanding leadership as chief executive over the past three years.

“The group is recognised as the most transformed and empowered retailer in the country.

“In this three-year period, the group’s share price has increased by 60percent, and the market capitalisation on the JSE has risen from R48 billion to R75bn, despite markets being severely impacted by Covid-19,” said Nurek.

He said that under Ramnsunder’s watch, Clicks and UPD have entrenched their market-leading positions and the group has expanded its retail presence to 841 stores and 621 pharmacies.

Ramsunder said: “I am leaving Clicks Group and South Africa with a heavy heart.

“It has been an honour to lead the Clicks Group and to have been part of such a dynamic and transformed business, which has presented me with career-defining opportunities.”

Engelbrecht said that being appointed chief executive of a company of the stature of Clicks was a privilege.

“Clicks Group is on a sustained growth trajectory, thanks largely to the quality of the highly-experienced executive team and I look forward to leading this strong team from January next year,” said Engelbrecht.

Founded more than 52 years ago in 1968, the group has been listed on the JSE since 1996 and its footprint includes Clicks stores, Clicks pharmacies, and The Body Shop.

However, a year ago Clicks was the subject of public outrage sparked by a TRESemmé advert on its website depicting black women’s hair as frizzy, dull, dry and damaged while it described white women’s hair as normal, fine and flat.

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