Business Leadership


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 next phase of his life he is determined to continue to make a difference to his country and all its people.

His business career had its origin at Toyota South Africa in March 1973. Following a number of management positions in research, planning, sales and marketing, he was appointed managing director of Toyota SA Marketing in 1988. Under his guidance Toyota became the market leader in terms of both sales and customer satisfaction.

In March 1995 he joined South Africa’s largest motor retail group, McCarthy Motor Holdings, as chief executive. Effective October, 1999, he was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Limited, the holding company of McCarthy Motor Holdings. It is widely acknowledged that Brand played the pivotal role in saving McCarthy from bankruptcy. Due to massive bad debt write-offs in its Prefcor division, the group was declared technically insolvent in February 2001 Under Brand’s leadership McCarthy was successfully recapitalized, restructured and restored to financial health. Thousands of jobs were saved. Today, the group employs 7 000 people, has an annual turnover in excess of R20bn and it sells approximately 75 000 new and used vehicles annually. Brand retired as CEO of McCarthy and as an executive director of the Bidvest Group on 1 March 2011.

Brand currently serves as a non-executive director on the boards of the Agrinet, Reunert, Italtile, Tata Africa Holdings, Tongaat Hulett and is the chairman of Metair Investments Limited. Brand is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa.

An honorary professorship in Business Management was conferred on him in May 1991 by the University of the Free State and in May 2001, by the University of Johannesburg, as well. He was appointed a Fellow at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in November 2007. An honorary doctorate in marketing was conferred on him in April 2013 by the Durban University of Technology, and in September 2013 an honorary professorship in Marketing was bestowed on him by the University of Pretoria.

Brand serves on the main board of the READ Educational Trust Board of Trustees and was the president of the South African Retail Motor Industry Organisation from 2001 until 2006. He served as President of the South African Institute of Marketing Management from 1993 till 1996 as well as on the State President’s International Marketing Council during the period 2004- 2009, the last two years as vice-chairman. Brand was appointed as an ambassador of the SA Valued Citizens Initiative in May 2008, in November 2009 as a Visiting Executive at the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pretoria and in January 2013 as a director of the business incubator InvoTech at the Durban University of Technology. He was appointed as a member of the Board of Trustees of Partners for Possibility in April 2017.


  • Guidelines for business success in a rapidly changing South Africa.
  • The key lessons I have learnt during my career in business.
  • Guidelines for effective leadership.
  • Inspirational leadership – how to optimize passion, motivation and commitment.
  • Servant leadership – is it effective in tough times?
  • Key leadership lessons I have learnt.
  • How to optimise customer satisfaction and retention.

Start typing and press Enter to search