Starbucks holding company Taste appoints new CEO

Taste, the JSE-listed holding group responsible for bringing US brands Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza to South Africa, have appointed a new chief executive, following the resignation of  co-founder, Carlo Gonzaga.

Taste, which also has jewellery retailers Arthur Kaplan and NWJ in its stable, announced that Tyrone Moodley will change his function from non-executive director and be appointed to the Group CEO role effective 12 February 2018, while Gonzaga will remain employed by the company for a six month period supporting the new ‘interim CEO’.

Moodley has been a non-executive director of Taste since October 2016 and is a senior advisor to Protea Asset Management LLC, the investment advisor to Riskowitz Value Fund. RVF and its affiliates, have been Taste shareholders since 2010 and recently increased their stake in Taste to 64.5%.

“Carlo co-founded the Taste Group with his father, Luigi, and Duncan Crosson (currently an executive director of Taste) in 2000 with a single pizza outlet in Westville, Durban. Carlo has led the organisation for 18 years and seen it transform from a single franchise brand into a vertically integrated business across jewellery and food, licensing some of the world’s leading brands in their categories, in addition to owning their own brands and outlets,” Taste said.

Gonzaga said: “Despite being a co-founder I have always believed that I am a temporary steward of the company and that there would one day come the time to hand over the baton to a set of fresh eyes and legs. Given the recent changes to the Board and shareholding I am of the view that the time is now.”

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Starbucks holding company Taste appoints new CEO