Many people knew Jooste as more than just a businessman. An avid lover of horseracing, Jooste was not one for the public eye.
Here are eight lesser known facts about the man behind Steinhoff’s shock announcement.
- Markus Johannes Jooste joined Steinhoff in 1988, and has been credited for turning the company into Europe’s second-largest home goods retailer.
- Jooste is an avid horse racing fan, and owns the largest number of thoroughbred racehorses in South Africa, The Times reports. His stable competes in prestigious events around the world.
- Jooste’s first racehorse’s name was National Emblem, who went on to become a champion. Unfortunately, National Emblem passed away in 2013 after failing to recover from a severe bout of colic.
- Jooste graduated from Stellenbosch University as a chartered accountant. He completed his honours degree at the University of Cape Town while finishing his articles at a company then owned by Christo Wiese, one of South Africa’s richest entrepreneurs.
- He is married with three children, according to horseracing website Sporting Post – a son and two daughters. They enjoy accompanying Jooste when attending big race meetings. His wife designs the colours worn by Jooste’s racehorses.
- At board level, Jooste was under pressure for the manner in which he handled a tax investigation by German authorities, and allegations of accounting impropriety made by Steinhoff’s previous partner in its POCO subsidiary, says Biznews.com founder Alec Hogg.
- Jooste’s demise came after Deloitte refused to sign off on annual financial results to end September, that were due for release earlier this week. Jooste allegedly wanted Steinhoff’s board to release the results as unaudited, after which Steinhoff backed the auditors, rather than it’s CEO.
- Jooste was described as a ‘nice guy’ who didn’t court controversy and was down to earth and well-liked.