Libstar CEO Andries van Rensburg retires, successor named

JSE-listed food group Libstar has announced that its CEO Andries van Rensburg (above) will retire at the end of this year. The group’s current CFO, Charl de Villiers, is to succeed Van Rensburg and will officially take the helm as CEO from 1 January 2023.

Libstar produces products including Lancewood yoghurt, Robertson’s baking powder and Denny mushrooms.

Van Rensburg co-founded Libstar in 2005 with the vision of building a value-added consumer goods business. The group was built from its humble entrepreneur-led beginnings to a group of 17 decentralised divisions spanning a diverse food product and channel base. Van Rensburg was instrumental in the group’s transition from a private to a public company in 2018.

Incoming CEO De Villiers is a chartered accountant and LLB graduate, with a unique combination of legal and financial qualifications.

He will continue to drive the repositioning of the group’s portfolio towards a higher-growth and value-added food portfolio, as well as the growth of its categories and channels through both organic expansion and acquisitions.

Successor selection

Charl de Villiers & Cornél Lodewyks

Libstar chairman Wendy Luhabe commented: “The appointment follows a rigorous process involving numerous external and internal candidates over the last year. The board concluded that Charl was the best candidate due to his in-depth understanding of the business and strategy of the group. He has worked alongside Andries and the executive management team since joining Libstar in 2017 and has been instrumental in the development of the group’s strategy.

“He has a deep understanding of Libstar’s commercial, financial and operational disciplines and has strong relationships with the management teams and other stakeholders. Andries and Charl will continue to work with the rest of the team to ensure a smooth handover process. As a board we are indebted to Andries for his invaluable leadership and building such a strong foundation and team. We wish him well in his well-deserved retirement.”

Outgoing CEO Andries van Rensburg said: “Libstar has been an integral part of my life for 17 years and although I will miss it deeply, I leave it in the very capable hands of our 7,000-strong family of employees led by a solid leadership team. I have no doubt in Charl’s ability to lead the business and to take the group forward.

“We are proud of the breadth of skills at the operational level, which has ensured that our key relationships are not held by only a few people. Charl has worked closely with me and our management teams, supported by a strong financial team.”

Incoming CEO Charl de Villiers commented on his appointment: “I am truly excited about leading the Libstar family. I feel honoured to have worked so closely with the co-founders from the start of my time at Libstar. This has allowed me to grow both in my personal and professional life and entrenched the Libstar passion and culture of our people in the way I work.

“We have a robust strategy in place that is brought to life through a talented team of passionate leaders with entrepreneurial spirit. I am committed to further accelerating the implementation of this strategy to ensure our future success, in unlocking stakeholder value.”

Cornél Lodewyks joins board

The board also announced that Cornél Lodewyks, who currently serves as managing executive of Lancewood, Libstar’s largest operating division, has been appointed as an executive director and member of the Libstar board, with effect from 1 January 2023. With more than 20 years of consumer packaged goods experience, his knowledge of the industry has been instrumental in the success of Lancewood, Libstar said.

Lodewyks joined Lancewood in 2011 and was promoted to managing executive in 2015. He will continue in his role as managing executive of Lancewood, whilst supporting the group management team in the implementation of its strategic initiatives.

Source: Libstar