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Former Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder has died

Pierre van Tonder. (Picture by Gallo Pictures / Foto24 / Lerato Maduna)

Former Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder has died on the age of 62, simply months after he stepped away from the enterprise he helped to construct for many of his life.

“Spur Company confirms that Pierre handed away peacefully in hospital at 18:45 on Sunday night,” a spokesperson advised Fin24 in a message.  

Van Tonder has been in a vital situation in a Cape City hospital for per week, after he shot himself at his Sea Level residence final Sunday, in accordance with an announcement launched by Spur on the time.

Born in Cape City, he matriculated from Wynberg Excessive Faculty. After beginning his profession at Choose n Pay as a trainee supervisor, Van Tonder joined Spur as a 23-year previous junior restaurant supervisor in Sea Level in 1982.

He left the group 38 years later, heading Spur since 1996.

Van Tonder beforehand advised Fin24 that he was lucky to affix Spur at a really younger age. ”I learnt from the again door to the entrance door. It all the time offers me a way of ardour for this business.”

Throughout his time as CEO, the group grew to greater than 600 eating places in some 20 international locations, and expanded its model portfolio to incorporate Italian meals chain Panarottis, burger joint RocoMamas, steak restaurant The Hussar Grill and seafood restaurant John Dory’s.

Among the many challenges Van Tonder confronted was the corporate’s comparatively unsuccessful growth within the UK and Australia, which resulted within the closure of some eating places. In 2017, Spur was engulfed in a race row – which resulted in a protracted boycott – after footage of a white man threatening a black girl at a Spur department went viral.

However the largest problem of his profession got here in 2020, after Covid-19 ravaged the enterprise he spent most of his life constructing. Spur eating places have been closed for weeks throughout arduous lockdown, and shoppers stayed away out of worry for the pandemic, whereas repeated alcohol bans throttled Spur’s revenue.

Speaking to News24 concerning the influence of the pandemic, Van Tonder mentioned that “one might say: ‘Jeez, that is terribly unfair.’ (However) it isn’t going to essentially make it easier to, in any sense. You need to be optimistic and it’s important to have a look at what’s taking place on the market to see what alternatives are created. I would not see it another means. Hopelessness will not be one thing we prefer to put into our vocab.

“(We’ve) had so many tsunamis come our means. Whether or not it’s very poor financial occasions, whether or not it’s political change, whether or not it’s social adjustments in South Africa. I feel South African businesspeople are resilient. Even should you have a look at the successes that a few of our executives had abroad: I feel their resilience and their optimistic angle and the experiences they have been by in South Africa, you recognize, stood the check of time.”

When he stepped down on the finish of final 12 months, Van Tonder mentioned that Spur required a “completely different form of management” going ahead. Val Nichas was appointed as his successor.

Following his resignation, Van Tonder mentioned he was not but able to decelerate, and needed to help different companies, he advised Fin24. He labored as a guide to franchise companies in latest months.

Van Tonder credited his entrepreneurial spirit to his mom “who was a businesswoman in her personal proper”, he advised News24. He was married for greater than thirty years, and needed to two grownup youngsters.

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