HARARE– Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed Brainworks Limited said on Friday it had appointed Zimbabwean, Peter Saungweme interim CEO to replace Brett Childs, who leaves the hospitality and real estate-focussed group after what the firm said was a successful restructuring of its operations.

Saungweme took over the new role on June 5, 2019, Brainworks said, noting that Childs would be retained for six months as a consultant, although he will retain his directorship roles within the diversified group.

The Mauritius-based Brainworks controls African Sun Limited, Zimbabwe’s largest leisure chain, together with a vibrant real estate portfolio held through Dawn Properties Limited, a listed operation.

Under Dawn’s stewardship lies high-end real estate gems like the magnificent Elephant Hills Resort and Hwange Safari Lodge.

Brainworks also has interests in the logistics sector in Zimbabwe, where it was established a few years back.

This is why the firm has decided to appoint Saungweme to deploy “his knowledge of the local business, political and economic environment in Zimbabwe to further enhance returns from the re-focussed portfolio”.

“Brainwork-a Mauritian-based JSE-listed holding company with a Zimbabwean hotel and real estate investment portfolio-on 5 June 2019 announced the appointment of Mr Peter Saungweme as interim CEO to take over from Mr Brett Childs, who has now completed the key aspects of the company’s restructuring,” Brainworks said in a statement.

“The restructuring of the group’s portfolio, to focus exclusively on the hospitality, leisure and real estate sectors, has already delivered a significant financial turnaround for the group as demonstrated by the excellent set of financial results for the 2018 period announced on 30th April 2019. Following the completion of the restructuring, which has largely been driven by Brett and management over the past two and half years, both the board and Brett believe that the business will further benefit by transitioning to a Zimbabwean based CEO,” is said.

Saungweme has worked for the group for four years, having previously held the role of chief finance officer at Dawn Properties until 2017, when he moved to Brainworks in the same capacity.

Under Brett, Brainworks reduced its debt in the past year and saw its revenue rise by 35 percent to US$79,3 million from US$58,6 million in 2017.