UCS Solutions, a subsidiary of Business Connexion Group and South Africa’s leading provider of Business process optimization and Information Technology services and solutions for the retail sector, has announced the appointment of Jessica Knight as its new CEO. The appointment is effective from 1 September 2015, succeeding Richard Newton who announced his intention to step down in May 2015.

    Knight who previously held the position of Senior Executive responsible for the Business Solutions Division, has been part of the UCS Solutions team for thirteen years. Prior to that she was a partner with McKinsey, the international strategy consulting firm in London and Johannesburg, as head of retail and e-commerce practices in South Africa. She played an important role in the shaping of the strategy and formation of Affinity Logic, which became UCS Solutions and worked with Richard Newton when he took over as CEO in 1998.   Her experience spans multiple disciplines from investment banking and a partner in a private equity fund in Europe as well as leading an e-commerce business, which subsequently became a leading retailer’s online business.

    Richard has been working with his experienced executive team over the past few months to shape a new leadership structure and ensure a seamless continuation of client service delivery and sustainable business growth for UCS solutions.

    “These changes have now been finalised with the full support of the UCS Solutions Executive Team and the Business Connexion Executive Committee, I am confident that UCS’s future is secure in the hands of an outstanding leadership team supported by a broader team with the best skills and expertise in the industry” says Newton,

    Further appointments as part of the new leadership structure have also been made.

    Nigel Henderson has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer for UCS Solutions, Henderson will be responsible for all ongoing Operational Services provided to UCS Solutions’ clients. Chris Shortt will support Knight through his appointment as Chief Innovation Officer, responsible for all Client Application Strategies, Innovation and Programme delivery. He will, however, only assume this full portfolio once his Co-Source commitments at Pick n Pay have been completed in the first quarter of 2016.

    ‘I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead an outstanding team with such a depth of experience and expertise in retail business processes, applications and related technology and, together with our broader leadership team, am looking forward to supporting UCS’s continued innovation and growth in the industry. Our deep client relationships and global partnerships, coupled with the passion of our employees are a clear recipe for success” concludes Knight