JOHANNESBURG, May 23 (Reuters) - Group Five named Themba Mosai as its chief executive on Tuesday, charged with unlocking shareholder value at the South African construction firm after it cut jobs and split up its loss-making engineering and construction division as part of a restructuring.
Mosai has been with the company for over 13 years and replaces Eric Vemer, who resigned in February after more than two years at the helm of Group Five which operates in 12 countries in Africa and Europe.
South Africa's construction industry has slowed sharply since the country hosted the 2010 soccer World Cup as infrastructure spending by President Jacob Zuma's government has stalled and weak commodity prices have hit demand from the mining industry.
"The (management) team will be responsible for guiding the Group through the current challenging operating environment and delivering on its stated strategy," Group Five said in a statement.
Mosai will lead the company as it overhauls a portfolio of businesses which includes manufacturing and investments and concessions.
"Our immediate priorities are to deliver stakeholder value by right sizing our construction business, effectively managing risk and executing on the voluntary rebuild programme," Mosai said.
The company, which makes 81.2 percent of its group revenue from the engineering and construction division, split that business earlier this month into three parts.
It also cut jobs and said additional guidance would be provided once the process had been completed.
The 41-year-old Mosai, who has an electrical engineering qualification and an MBA degree, joins the management team as the firm seeks to source and participate in further global concessions.
"We believe this appointment is positive for Group Five given Mr Mosai's added experience in Africa having led Intertoll Africa for 7 years as managing director," said Afrifocus Securities Construction and Building Materials equity analyst Tinashe Kambadza.
"Therefore, such leadership and experience bodes well for Group Five given the ongoing transformation process in the South African construction sector." (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla, editing by Ed Osmond)