Burger King’s SA owner loses its third exec in less than a year

Business Insider SA
Outgoing GPI CEO Tasneem Karriem. (File, Netwerk24)

  • Grand Parade Investments owns Burger King and other franchises in South Africa.
  • Tasneem Karriem resigned as its CEO after ten months in the job.
  • She is the third executive to leave in less than a year.

Grand Parade Investments (GPI), which owns the SA franchises of Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, has seen a sharp slump in its share price after another in a string of resignations from the company.

Tasneem Karriem resigned after just ten months as CEO of Grand Parade Investments.

No reasons were given for her resignation.

In March last year, GPI announced that its then CEO Alan Keet would resign from the role to become CEO of its food division. He also resigned from the board. The company hasn’t made any subsequent announcements, but Keet’s LinkedIn profile states that he stopped working for GPI in April last year and that he’s currently "taking time out to re-assess".

In the meanwhile, GPI announced in June that its finance director Dylan Pienaar would now head the food division. But in November, Pienaar also resigned.

The co-founder and chair of GPI, Hassan Adams, announced on Wednesday that he would also assume the CEO position until a new candidate is found.

GPI’s share price fell by more than 4% to 223c Wednesday morning following news of the resignation. A year ago, the share was trading at 400c – and three years ago it was at 600c.

One portfolio manager, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Business Insider that Adams is seen to be a problem.

"It looks as if any CEO is just a front for Adams, who seems to be running the show. It will be very difficult to explain Karriem’s resignation to the market following the departures of both Keet and Pienaar."

The company reported an increase of 14% to R576 million in its revenue for the six months to end December. It said it was on track to have 80 Burger King stores (of which 35 would be drive-throughs) by June 2018. Burger King's profit from operations increasing by 546% to R20.7 million in the past six months due to an aggressive store rollout.

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