Steinhoff. Picture: SUPPLIED
Steinhoff. Picture: SUPPLIED

Steinhoff acting CEO Danie van der Merwe will be replaced by commercial director Louis du Preez, the furniture retailer said on Monday.

In same the statement, Steinhoff said its US subsidiary Mattress Firm’s Chapter 11 application had been approved by the US bankruptcy court on Friday, November 16. The announcement sent Steinhoff’s share up as much as 15% to R2.10.

Van der Merwe was promoted from COO to acting CEO on December 19, two weeks after the announcement of accounting irregularities and the resignation of CEO Markus Jooste sent Steinhoff’s share price plummeting.

Image: Iress

Van der Merwe had decided to step down effective from December 31 “having accomplished the goals set out”, Monday’s statement said.

“His tireless efforts and considerable expertise mean that today, the underlying operational businesses have been refinanced, where required, and continue to trade,” chair Heather Sonn said in the statement.

“Du Preez brings a wealth of commercial and corporate experience to the role of CEO from his successful legal career. Having led the negotiations of the complex restructuring process since joining the management board earlier this year, he has also developed good relations with the group’s key stakeholders and a deep knowledge of the group’s global operations,” she said.

“He is the ideal candidate to lead the company through the final stages of the restructuring and into the next phase of its development, and his designation as CEO will provide important continuity for the group and all of its stakeholders.”