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Wal-Mart’s African unit Massmart undergoes management change

Massmart, Wal-Mart’s joint partner in South Africa, announced a top management change on Friday (April 11). Grant Pattison resigned as CEO of Massmart Holdings after seven years. Pattison oversaw the sale of a majority stake to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in June 2011.

Pattison, 43, will be replaced as CEO effective June 1 by Massmart Chief Operating Officer Guy Hayward, according to a corporate statement. Pattison will stay at the company as a non-executive director until the end of 2014.

“I’ll be looking for a leadership opportunity in a different industry where I am based in Johannesburg,” Pattison said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. “I subscribe to the idea of a term for a CEO and then making space for someone with fresh vision.”

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Wal-Mart acquired a 52% staked of Massmart in 2011 for $1.58 billion dollars, as part of the retailer’s emerging market strategy. Massmart operates 376 stores in 12 sub-Saharan countries, according to the retailer’s website.

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