Weise resigns as chairman of Steinhoff due to conflict of interest

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Ayanda Mdluli

JOHANNESBURG- Christo Wiese, Chairman of the board and interim CEO of embattled Steinhoff has tendered his resignation further raising speculation on accountability at the global furniture retailer.

In a securities exchange announcement, Weise offered to resign from the company’s Supervisory Board. In the announcement, the company did not indicate if Weise will stay on as interim CEO, however, it appears unlikely that he will continue due to the conflict of interest highlighted by the company.

“Dr Wiese made this offer in order to reinforce the independent governance of the Company of which he is a major shareholder. The Supervisory Board, on the advice of the independent committee of the Supervisory Board, has accepted his resignation to address any possible conflict of interest that may exist,” said the company.

Its embattled CEO Markus Jooste – resigned two weeks ago under a cloud of tax fraud and corruption. The company’s share price tanked to record lows following an investigation by German authorities on accounting and tax fraud charges.

“Dr Wiese has offered to provide any ongoing assistance that may be required by the Company. The Supervisory Board would like to use this opportunity to thank Dr Wiese for his contribution to the Company and wish him well in his future endeavours,” it said.

Following his departure, the company said Heather Sonn, who currently serves as a member of the Supervisory Board and its independent sub-committee, has agreed to assume the position of acting Chairperson.

“Ms Sonn will remain a member of the independent committee together with the other two members, Johan van Zyl and Dr Steve Booysen.”

In addition, Jacob Wiese who is related to Christo has also offered his resignation which the company accepted.

“The Supervisory Board acknowledges Mr Wiese’s contribution to the Company and his offer of ongoing assistance. Shareholders and other investors in the company are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group,” said the company.

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