For the first time in its history, LG Electronics has selected a non-Korean to head up one of its international subsidiaries with the appointment of a new MD in South Africa.
Peet van Rooyen, former MD of Kentronics, succeeds ST Tae who had looked after the company's local affairs for the past six years.
The company says that the appointment of Van Rooyen is part of its global strategy whereby subsidiaries will be headed by local people with local market knowledge, ensuring LG remains locally relevant and a stronger globally competitive company.
It adds that this strategy is further reinforced in South Africa with the appointment of Andrew Procter as chief operating officer.
Van Rooyen says he is excited by the challenge of growing the LG brand in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa despite growing financial pressure on both consumers and retailers. He says exports into sub-Saharan Africa offer LG solid growth opportunities.
“Globally, LG aspires to be the third biggest consumer brand in the world,” says Van Rooyen. “One of my primary objectives is to evaluate our operational effectiveness and ensure LG continues to remain a profitable business, creating even more value for our customers.
“And while LG holds the number one position in all major areas of the consumer electronics and appliances market in South Africa, we would like to offer greater value to our partners in the channel with first-to-market innovation.
“Recent interest rate hikes, as well as a higher inflationary outlook means that the consumer is going to be under pressure until around 2010," Van Rooyen says. "In these difficult times, our goal is to offer better value to customers in the form of environmentally efficient and stylish products while adding value to our channels via solid retail and commercial opportunities."