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Brand Pretorius

Non Executive Director | International Speaker | Leadership Mentor

Brand is the retired chief executive of McCarthy Limited, the leading motor retail group in South Africa. He doesn’t describe his stepping down on 1 March 2011 from his full-time executive position as “retirement”, but rather as “changing gear”. In this current phase of his life he is determined to continue to make a difference to his country and all its people.

The key activities in which he is investing his time, include the following:
  • Serving on boards of companies in a non-executive capacity.
  • Mentoring and coaching up and coming young business leaders.
  • Lecturing at some of South Africa’s leading business schools and universities.
  • Professional speaking on a variety of subjects relating to leadership and business.
  • Promoting literacy in South Africa through his directorship of the READ Educational Trust and his Executive Chairmanship of the acclaimed national Rally to Read programme.
  • Teaching primary school children in disadvantaged schools about the right principles and values through his involvement in the Valued Citizens program.
  • He describes his retirement portfolio as consisting of learning, teaching and serving.
National awards attained by Mr. Pretorius include:
  • Junior Businessman of the Year (1985),
  • Communicator of the Year (1994),
  • Best Boss (1994),
  • Automobile Man of the Year, the Manpower award of Excellence (1995) and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Business Communication by the SA Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (1997).
  • In October 1998 the research company Integrity Profiles International identified him as one of the top 5 “high integrity” business leaders in South Africa
  • He received an Honorary Fellowship from the South African Institute of Marketing Management in November 1998.
  • In a survey done during May 1999 by the influential magazine Professional Management Review, he was identified as the most admired leader in the Motor Industry. This award was bestowed on him again in June 2000.
  • In February 2000 the marketing magazine “The Future” identified him through reader research as one of South Africa’s three most prominent marketers of the past decade.
  • The South African Institute of Marketing Management honored him with their “Marketing Person of the Year” award in November 2000.
  • In May 2002 he received a certificate of excellence from the READ Educational Trust for his remarkable commitment to the cause of building a literate nation through the Rally to Read project, a national social investment project he initiated in 1998.
  • The publishers of the South African Automotive Year Book bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award on him in September 2003, for outstanding service to the motor industry.
  • In June 2006 he was honored by the Leadership Forum at their annual CEO Summit for his contribution towards leadership thinking and in particular, leadership ethics.
  • South African marketers identified him in September 2006 as a marketing thought leader, and as one of the top three business leaders who have contributed most to the success of their organizations.
  • In the annual Trust Barometer opinion survey amongst company directors by the research company Ask Afrika, he was recognized in August 2009 as the most trusted leader in the South African motor industry
  • The Automotive Industry Development Council bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award on him in April 2011.
  • He was the recipient of the Ellen Kuzwayo Award from the Council of the University of Johannesburg for his contribution to the South African business sector as well as the society at large, in November 2013.
  • In October 2016 the MS Louw award for outstanding service to the business sector was bestowed on him by the AHI.
  • In October 2023 the National Automobile Association of South Africa honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted him into the NAAMSA Hall of Fame. It is only the second time that NAAMSA has made such an award.
  • In November 2023, a Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed on him by the South African Institute of Marketing Management.
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