Brainworks chief executive officer Brett Childs has resigned from the group amid indications the group would now want to transition to a Zimbabwean CEO.
Childs is Mauritian.
Brainworks itself is a Mauritian-based JSE-listed holding company with a Zimbabwean hotel and real estate investment portfolio.
Peter Saungweme was yesterday announced as interim CEO to take over from Childs, who has now completed the key aspects of the company’s restructuring.
The restructuring of the group’s portfolio, to focus exclusively on the hospitality, leisure and real estate sectors, has already delivered a financial turnaround for the group.
Brainworks reduced its debt by 55% to US$17.1 million from US$38.3 million, achieved through capital raising initiatives during the year and cost cutting measures, such as the disposal of its financial services businesses.
Revenue went up by 35% to US$79.3 million from US$58.6 million in the prior year and earnings of US$10.4 million were recorded compared to a loss of US$8 million in 2017.
Following the completion of the restructuring, which has largely been driven by Childs over two and half years, the board believes that the business will further benefit by transitioning to a Zimbabwean-based CEO.
Saungweme will step in as interim CEO effective 5 June 2019. He has worked for the group for four years, initially as CFO of Dawn Properties (listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange) until March 2017 and then as CFO of Brainworks Limited.
According to the group Saungweme will use his deep understanding of the assets and his knowledge of the local business, political and economic environment in Zimbabwe, to further enhance returns from the re-focussed portfolio.
Childs will resign from the board of Brainworks but will be retained for six months in a consulting capacity with a specific remit to assist with the transition and conclude some strategic tasks . He will also remain on the boards of African Sun Limited and Dawn Properties Limited.