The chief executive officer of South Africa’s largest hotel and casino chain, Tsogo Sun, will be stepping down from his role as from the end of June. Marcel von Aulock will be replaced by company veteran Jacques Booysen, it was recently announced.
The 42 year old von Aulock has been at the helm of Tsogo Sun for many years, after he took over as CEO in 2011. Prior to that, he had been part of the group since 1999.
Von Aulock has led Tsogo Sun through some of its biggest hurdles and achievements. Under his leadership, the group purchased a controlling stake in Hospitality Property Fund in order to create value for its hospitality business.
Tsogo Sun is considered South African’s biggest hospitality and gaming group, although it also has interests in other African countries such as Mozambique, Kenya and Nigeria.
Booysen takes over at a time that Tsogo Sun is seeking to buy more assets in the United Kingdom’s hotel market through the European hotel investment group, International Hotel Properties. Tsogo Sun holds a quarter of IHP’s shares.
Jacques Booysen was long considered the executive to take over from von Aulock and he has, until now, acted as head of Tsogo Sun’s gaming division. He will take on his new position as chief executive from the first of July.
In a statement issued by Tsogo Sun, no reason was given for von Aulock’s resignation. The current CEO said, however, that his is in need of a break from the gaming industry, and dismissed speculation that the resignation came as a result of differences of opinion over an acquisition with Tsogo Sun’s parent company, Hosken Consolidated Investments.
The company recently posted its latest numbers, which showed that Tsogo Sun is worth R26 billion. Shares since the beginning of the year have fallen 11%, amidst weak economic growth and political uncertainty, which has led to a downturn in gaming activity among South Africans.
Tsogo Sun owns Gold Reef City, as well as Johannesburg’s top casino destination, Montecasino. Direct competition from Sun International’s new Gauteng casino property in Pretoria, Time Square, has also affected Tsogo Sun’s performance this year.
Tsogo Sun owns a total of 14 casinos and 100 hotels in South Africa, Africa, the Middle East and the Seychelles.