Ry­lands takes Woolies’ reins

CityPress - - Business -

She is ar­guably South Africa’s most in­flu­en­tial foodie. As head of Wool­worths Food, Zyda Ry­lands stocked her way into the homes of those South Africans who prize qual­ity, and ramped up re­turns for the re­tailer. Last week’s re­sults showed Wool­worths buck­ing the trend of lower sales in the coun­try.

This week, the tai­lor’s daugh­ter and char­tered ac­coun­tant be­came CEO of Wool­worths SA, the hub of the group’s fast-grow­ing global am­bi­tions. The 51-year-old, who hails from Cape Town, knows hard work. “I re­ceived a study loan from a busi­ness as­so­ciate of my fa­ther and worked ev­ery week­end and hol­i­day to re­pay it,” she says. “I come from a rich and vi­brant cul­ture. We love to celebrate and do so around the ta­ble with food. I have al­ways had a love and a pas­sion for food.”

Ry­lands does a wide range of good works through serv­ing on the boards of or­gan­i­sa­tions in hous­ing and de­vel­op­ment; democ­racy; and work­ing for sur­vivors of vi­o­lence and trauma. She was chair­per­son of the au­dit com­mit­tee for Par­lia­ment and served as a nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Black Man­age­ment Fo­rum.

– Staff re­porter

Zyda Ry­lands

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