Business . Leadership

Based: Johannesburg

James Wellwood ‘Whitey’ Basson (born 1946) is a South African businessman and billionaire (in South African rand terms) who was largely responsible for growing a small business called Shoprite from an 8-store chain valued at R1 million into an international retail conglomerate with revenue in 2019 of R150 billion, market capitalisation of R114 billion, more than 2 300 stores and 140 000 employees across 15 African countries. Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2019 ranked The Shoprite Group as the 86th largest retailer in the world.

Basson retired as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Shoprite Holdings Ltd on 31 December 2016. This moved him in the list of richest South Africans from 9th to 29th with a net worth of R1,7 billion