Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

Steinhoff International says Philip Dieperink will step down as finance chief after the embattled retailer’s AGM at the end of August.

Dieperink, who was appointed as CFO and a member of the group’s management board in April 2018, has agreed to leave both posts “by mutual consent”.

He will be replaced by Theodore de Klerk, the group’s current operations director.

Following a handover period, Dieperink will leave the company at end-December, Steinhoff said.

Dieperink has overseen a tumultuous period for the group, which has had to restructure its debt and finalise long-delayed financial results following the revelation of “accounting irregularities” in late 2017.

In June, Steinhoff published its second set of full-year audited earnings in as many months. The company reduced its annual loss 70% to €1.2bn in the year to end-September.

Steinhoff said Dieperink will be succeeded as CFO by De Klerk, who is currently operations director and a member of the management board.

“Theo has been with the group in various positions since 2003 and is well-qualified for the post,” Steinhoff said.

The company said Dieperink “has played an important role” in negotiating and finalising the company’s debt restructurings, and in the process leading towards the implementation of the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) process.

The projects he oversaw “were key to stabilising Steinhoff and preparing it to move forward to the next phase of its recovery”.

Steinhoff chair Heather Sonn said the group’s restructuring “is nearing completion”.

“Having stepped into the role of CFO at a very difficult time, Philip has made a significant contribution to the management board that has successfully stabilised the group while it continues to work towards a recovery of value,” Sonn said.

“He will leave the group having accomplished the key objectives set at the time of his appointment and we wish him every future success.”

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za