JOHANNESBURG – Christo Wiese has resigned as chairperson of Steinhoff International, a week after former CEO Markus Jooste’s shock resignation amid allegations of accounting irregularities.
Wiese, who took over the reins as interim CEO following Markus Jooste’s departure, says he’d offered to step down in order to reinforce independent governance of the company.
The supervisory board says it accepts his resignation to address any possible conflict of interest, adding that his position will be taken by Heather Sonn with immediate effect.
The South African furniture retailer, which is Europe’s second biggest, after IKEA has lost its fair share of stock value on the JSE following allegations of accounting irregularities.
Prosecutors in Germany have been investigating former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste and other senior managers for accounting fraud in recent years.
Back in 2015, German tax authorities searched Steinhoff’s offices and the embattled retail giant has been exposed to a number of lawsuits pertaining to precipitated fraud.
Fund managers have come under fire for failure to pick up on-going fraudulent activities in the company.
Economists demand that for the retail giant to retain its status, the entire management panel should step down and allow new members to take over and start on a new slate.