Johann Hendrik Vorster

Johann Hendrik Vorster Chief Executive Clover South Africa

After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce from Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit (RAU) in 1985, Mr Vorster spent four years with Ernst & Young (previously Arthur Young). He went on to become a Senior Manager while completing his Honours through the University of South Africa in 1986 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) in 1987. His next three and a half years were spent with the South African Revenue Service as Assistant Director of Operational Research.

Mr Vorster completed his Master of Business Administration through the University of Witwatersrand in 1991 before joining East Rand Plastics Proprietary Limited in 1992. After several acquisitions, the East Rand Plastics Group of Companies was created, which finally became Astrapak Limited.

As Financial Director at Astrapak he was responsible for the company’s listing on the JSE in 1997. He became joint Managing Director of the Film Division of Astrapak before accepting an offer as Chief Financial Officer from the Clover Group in October 2000.

After four years in charge of the Group’s Financial Department, Mr Vorster was appointed Chief Operating Officer in September 2004. In July 2005 he became Deputy CEO to Robert Wesseloo and when Robert announced his retirement at the beginning of 2006, he was appointed as Clover’s next Chief Executive.

In December 2010, Clover made its debut on the JSE. Since listing at R10.50/share, the stock has surged 76% to R18.51, valuing the dairy group at R3.51bn.

Clover’s turnover rose by 56% to R9.63bn in 2015 and operating profit grew 34% to R501m.

The path to higher profits was set when Clover terminated a supply agreement with Danone. Ending that 15-year partnership enabled Clover to extract higher margins from making yoghurt, custards, desserts and fermented products that its agreement with Danone prevented it from doing.

Today, 45% of Clover’s profits are from nondairy products including ice tea, mineral water and fruit juices.

Last year, Clover was ranked the third-best company in SA for which to work, according to global advisory firm Deloitte.

What is next for Vorster? He says: “I am going to double the size of the business.” Asked over what time frame, he responds: “An entrepreneur doesn’t look at time, only opportunity!”