President, Africa

Job Description

*To be based in Johannesburg or Nairobi

The ultimate purpose of the President is to lead the Regional business strategy within the overall framework of the SAOF Bata Strategy.

This is a defining key leadership position for a business-focused, consumer-centric, strategic leader who is passionate about and motivated by the BATA mission and the chance to drive the change necessary to truly impact the lives of the BATA consumer. S/he will partner closely with the Chief Executive Officer and senior management team as well as lead and develop a strategic, high-impact, business-focused capability – all with the commitment to better serving the BATA consumers.

General Responsibilities

  • Define and implement a Regional business strategy within the overall framework of the SAOF Bata Strategy and manage priorities and resources accordingly.
  • Maximize profits in the short, medium and long-term and ensure that all companies achieve or beat their annual performance targets.
  • Ensure the implementation and execution of the  Global Programs.
  • Ensure that cooperation and synergy exist between companies of Africa.
  • Foster Bata interests and image in Africa and ensure that business is conducted according to the basic methods, policies and ethics of Bata.
  • Initiate the development of business opportunities and ensure continued sound growth of our business taking into consideration market potential and market participation.
  • Ensure that companies are managed properly in all areas of general management, human resources, administration, finance, marketing, commercial, product development and technical aspects.

Business Strategy & Organization

  • Driving and delivering the plans and goals of the overall business. Managing the full P&L of Africa, meeting all financial targets and executing on all required business processes (e.g. planning, budgeting…).
  • Fostering the development of a consumer-focused and results-driven culture by empowering and engaging the staff to perform well at a collective and individual level.
  • Developing a well thought-through and sustainable strategy, proactively communicating and personally ‘living’ the strategy, ensuring a cross-functional and integrated approach at Regional and Group level, ensuring it is effectively distilled throughout the organization.  
  • Showing good judgement by making relevant decisions in order to maximize profitability and ensure issue resolution. Driving marketing, assortments and product strategies that deliver income and profitability goals through existing and new categories and channels/markets.
  • Demonstrating a consistent and all-round track-record of success encompassing sales, marketing, ecommerce, purchasing, HR, finance, operations…
  • Ensuring the business has the organization structure, leadership capabilities and human resources required to deliver the set goals.

Commercial Strategy & Operational Execution

  • Overseeing the development and execution of the sales and go-to-market commercial strategy from “idea to sales deployment to volume realization” thereby ensuring that the commercial team achieve the targets set. Staying very close to the commercial function/focus to ensure organizational targets are being met.
  • Ensuring that clear commercial strategies are developed, deployed and measured, as well as aligned with the company’s overall strategy. Seeking and exploring opportunities for growth.
  • Ensuring effective sales force productivity and sales effectiveness deployment measures are in place by overseeing sales activity of team members by store through a variety of media, in order to reach objectives in terms of key KPIs (including top line growth and contribution margin; productivity, conversion rate, selective brands/categories as well as operational efficiency in store, ecommerce, etc.

Change Management, Transformation & Continuous Improvement

  • Leading with tact yet focus, aggressive business change, coupled with extensive performance management.
  • Taking responsibility for challenging productivity and delivery target enhancements and acting as a change agent.
  • Restructuring/changing/re-sizing/growing teams and stores as necessary. Ensuring the business is constantly adapting to the market environment.
  • Ensuring that business operations processes and systems deliver optimal cost and service performance.

People Leadership & Communication

  • Creating a results-driven, winning culture of rewarding the right behaviors and rewarding success – maximizing use of sales competencies, reward policies and practices, as well as development tools. Energizing teams through inclusiveness and connecting with people. Building loyalty and commitment and a consistent approach, whilst demonstrating the ability to engage people around a common purpose.
  • Ensuring the business has access to the right skills/competencies, as well as a strong development pipeline to meet present and future needs. Acting upon poor performers.
  • Establishing a rhythm of fluid communication within the organization (weekly P&L management meetings, monthly ops reviews; communication with all employees; regular store visits; skip level meetings; informal meetings etc).
  • Creating a high-performing, values-orientated culture through focus on employee satisfaction.
  • Ensuring a comprehensive Voice of the Customer process e.g. NPS to drive a customer focused organization.
  • Supporting Group initiatives as required.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Operational excellence and sales results by store (turnover/margin; productivity; frequency; conversion rate, number of units per transaction; sales by category; private label results).
  • Customer orientation (store concept; layout; merchandising).
  • Customer Satisfaction.
  • “Benchstrength” of management team.
  • Headcount: efficient utilization of resources; productivity measurements.
  • Staff attitude surveys – we are looking for an empowering business leader.
  • Track record of delivering major change programs.
  • Compliance and Audit reviews.
  • Legislative and Statutory Compliance.

Personal Specification


  • Master’s Degree with an emphasis on Business, Finance or Marketing. MBA desirable; strong financial and commercial acumen a must.
  • Significant business experience in Africa.
  • Consistently successful track record over 10-15 years, as a senior consumer professional (vertical retailing, FMCG, multi-site services, hospitality, etc), ideally coupled with strong experience with integrated activities (manufacturing, wholesale and omni-channels).
  • Consistently successful track record over 10-15 years, as a senior retail professional, ideally coupled with strong experience with integrated activities (manufacturing, wholesale and omni-channels).
  • Experience gained in an international, matrix-managed organization.


  • Ability to work at a strategic, as well as at a tactical, level; if required, hands-on, focused on the detail.
  • Proven change and culture change expertise. Strong leadership of large cross-functional/matrix teams.
  • Excellent development and coaching skills. Ability to work with diverse individuals, with multiple styles.
  • Be proactive in managing crises and risk.
  • Proven ability to drive growth by developing creative commercial solutions.
  • High level communication & influencing skills.
  • Proven executive presence and well- established reputation in the market, hence able to attract top talent to the organization.
  • In-depth local environment understanding.
  • Fluent in English

Leadership Competencies

  • Drive for Results: Coordinates execution by setting appropriate pace: Evokes ownership and accountability, streamlines process/structure and, reallocates resources quickly and possesses a winning spirit with positive energy. 
  • Shape Strategy/a “strategic doer”: Envisions a compelling future by anticipating and interpreting market changes, from which clear strategic priorities and choices can be made. Analytically minded with the ability to synthesize and act on data. 
  • Inspire and Influence: Leads through influence (not just authority): Builds powerful relationships, helps others find meaning and purpose in their work, inspires through energetic engagement. Strong interpersonal/relationship building capabilities (key attributes to drive effective relationship across countries and across functions).
  • Lead Innovation: Creates environments that encourage experimentation and where people feel safe to share ideas freely. Drives innovation through collaboration and scales and invests in new ideas.
  • Put Consumers First: Puts serving consumers at the core of everything the organization does: Understands their needs, creates distinctive value and builds meaningful relationships. 
  • Disrupt and Challenge: Challenges conventional wisdom, speaks truth to power and, discovers creative possibilities. 
  • Build Talent and Teams: Builds and harnesses highly talented, diverse teams: Coaches and develops others, understands team dynamics, and strengthens the overall capability of the organization.

Personal Attributes

  • A clear thinker who can simplify strategy into specific actions, make decisions and communicate priorities well. Executes carefully yet does not get “lost in the details”.
  • Has the imagination and courage to take risks on both people and ideas. Demonstrates good judgement. Balanced approach.
  • Open and respectful executive perceived as a welcome addition to – and a natural leader of – cross-functional teams; able to respect other points of view and put the good of the organization ahead of personal interest. Builds win-win relationships.
  • High levels of energy and ability to energize and engage. Achievement drive.
  • Ability to prioritize/focus on what matters. Organized. Pragmatic.
  • Can manage heavy workloads in an environment that changes and develops at high pace.
  • Extensive experience of presenting and selling strategy/new concepts to senior management.



FMCG & Retail



Job Level