Takealot Group has announced the appointment of Frederik Zietsman as new CEO.

Takealot, the South African e-commerce group that reported $808m in revenues for 2023, has announced Frederik Zietsman as its new CEO effective from February 1, 2024. Takealot group owns the online platforms takealot.com, Superbalist, and Mr D.

Zietsman replaces Mamongae Mahlare who was CEO from October 2021. Mahlare is moving to the position of executive chair of Takealot group. Zietsman was CEO of Takealot.com from 2021.

“The streamlining of the leadership between the group and Takealot.com will reinforce resources around its flagship online retail and marketplace platform and bring stronger alignment and focus in delivering on its key growth objectives,” Takealot said in a statement.

In 2018, Africa’s biggest company by market capitalisation Naspers acquired Tiger Global Management’s stake in Takealot, effectively owning 96% of Takealot. Per Nasper’s latest financials, Takealot group’s gross merchandise value (GMV) and revenue grew by 15% and 9% over the last year, respectively. The company also reduced trading losses by as much as 85%.

Takealot facing regulatory crackdown and Amazon arrival

Amazon announced in October 2023 that it will launch its marketplace in South Africa in 2024, looking set to challenge Takealot’s dominance. Although the company did not cite the arrival as the reason for the executive shuffle, Takealot would be looking to get its best bets at the helm to fight off the global e-commerce giant. Former CEO Mahlare has constantly reiterated that Takealot actually looks forward to the imminent arrival of Amazon.

Amazon enters a South African e-commerce market fraught with regulatory complications. In July, the country’s competition regulator released a report outlining the findings of an investigation into competitive practices of some leading online platforms. For Takealot, the regulator stated that the platform faced a conflict of interest on its site as its retail division competes with the marketplace sellers leading to behaviour that has disadvantaged sellers.

As a remedial action, Takealot was ordered to segregate its retail division from its marketplace operations, preventing its retail services from accessing seller data and unilaterally stopping sellers from competing for certain brands.

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