March 12, 2015 / 1:21 PM / 2 years ago

South Africa's Massmart taps Bharti Airtel executive as CFO

JOHANNESBURG, March 12 (Reuters) - South African retailer Massmart named a Bharti Airtel Africa executive as its new finance head on Thursday in the latest reshuffle at the unit of Wal-Mart, now in a problematic expansion in Africa.

Johannes van Lierop is replacing Ilan Zwarenstein, who advised the board last August of his intention to resign. He is the third top executive to join the team at Massmart in less than a year.

Guy Hayward took over as chief executive in June last year after Grant Pattison stepped down. Kuseni Dlamini joined around the same time as chairman after founder Mark Lamberti accepted a CEO position at Imperial Holdings.

Leirop joins the company in the middle of expansion into other African countries, where it has found it difficult due to a shortage of the sort of prime retail space it favours in lucrative markets such as Nigeria.

Massmart is also facing tough competition at home as it rolls out its grocery business to take on industry leaders Shoprite Holdings and Pick n Pay Stores (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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