SOUTH AFRICA — Sam Ngumeni is set to succeed Zyda Rylands, the longstanding CEO of Woolworths Foods, who will retire at the close of August.

Rylands will be marking the end of a remarkable 29-year tenure with the company, leaving behind a legacy of growth and innovation.

Having joined Woolworths South Africa in 1996, Rylands embarked on a journey that saw her traverse various roles, including finance and store operations.

Over time, she assumed leadership positions such as Chief Operating Officer of Support Services. Eventually, she became CEO of Woolworths South Africa in September 2015.

Despite her earlier intention to step down from her executive roles in 2021 due to personal circumstances, Rylands graciously extended her tenure with the company until August 2024. This is a testament to her unwavering dedication and commitment to propelling the company to different heights.

As part of Woolworths Group’s meticulously planned succession strategy, Sam Ngumeni, the Group’s Chief Operating Officer with an illustrious 26-year tenure, will ascend to the role of CEO of Woolworths Foods on July 1, 2024.

Ngumeni’s extensive experience, particularly in financial services and retail credit, coupled with his successful track record within the organization, position him as a natural fit to lead Woolworths Foods into its next chapter of growth.

His journey in the company has been marked by significant milestones, including his tenure as Chief Operating Officer of Woolworths South Africa and Chief Executive Officer of Woolworths Financial Services.

He has also spearheaded transformative initiatives such as the successful joint venture with ABSA Limited. His appointment to the WHL Board in 2014 underscores his strategic acumen and leadership prowess.

The Board expresses its utmost confidence in Ngumeni’s ability to steer Woolworths Foods toward continued success and innovation, while acknowledging Rylands’ unparalleled contributions to the organization.

As Woolworths embarks on this transitional phase, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the positive impact that Ngumeni’s leadership will bring to the foods business, ensuring its continued prominence within the retail landscape.

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