It's a bit of an indictment of top business talent in SA that Walmart is parachuting in a new CEO for its local business, Massmart. It also puts an entirely different spin on the resignation earlier this month of CEO Guy Hayward. Massmart's share price nose-dived on Thursday, but this likely had little to do with the news of the new CEO and more to do with a trading update in which the company warned that headline earnings for the six months to June might be at least 50% lower than the prior period. The new CEO, Mitchell Slape, has worked for Walmart since 1995 and held senior positions in the US, India, Mexico and, most recently, Japan, where he heads Walmart's operations. Slape will know what a grim business retail has become in SA. The growth that retailers are eking out is anaemic, and businesses that supply retailers aren't doing well either. It's not clear how he will do much better: unemployment is high, and those who are earning are being squeezed from every angle, with the ...

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