JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — Tiger Brands Limited’s chairman and the board have confirmed that progress is being made in searching for a new chief executive officer (CEO) and the appointment process will be completed in March.

After reaching an agreement on Oct. 8, the chairman and the board announced that its CEO, Peter Matlare, was stepping down and remained in his position until Dec. 31.

In the meantime, as announced previously, Noel Doyle has commenced duties as acting CEO beginning Jan. 1.

While the company gave no reason why Maltare is stepping down, Tiger Brands has faced major write-offs in its Nigerian business and fraud at its Kenyan operations.

In December, Tiger Brands announced it would sell its stake in Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc, formerly Dangote Flour Mills, to Dangote Industries Limited. Tiger, which purchased the milling business in 2012, has lost millions in write-downs due to competitive markets.

In late 2014, Matlare said that he took "full responsibility" for the write-downs.

"I have given this careful consideration and believe that this is the right time for new leadership at Tiger Brands,” Matlare said. “I am proud of the progress we have made since my appointment. Our business model is more resilient, we are more disciplined on cost management, and we have introduced key strategies that will improve our positon locally and on the rest of the continent. While the external environment has continued to be, and will remain, challenging, the group has the resilience to overcome these challenges. In addition we have defined our culture through a common set of values for the group and the progress we have made, has been achieved by applying these values and by focusing on the needs of all our stakeholders. I wish to thank the leadership team as well as the employees of Tiger Brands for their commitment and support over the years. I value the guidance and support received from the Board during my tenure.”