Former Tesco UK CEO Richard Brasher is jetting off to South Africa this weekend in preparation for his new role as CEO of the country’s second-largest food retailer, Pick n Pay.

Brasher, who resigned from Tesco in March following a shock profit warning, was confirmed as boss of the 775-store chain this week. He officially starts the role on 1 February next year.

Speaking exclusively to The Grocer, Brasher said he would move to Cape Town with his family in January, but planned to “pop down” to South Africa this weekend to “shake a few hands”.

“It’s a happy day for me and my family, and a great opportunity for me to be working in a fast growth economy again,” he added.

“Seven of the top 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa, and Pick n Pay is in many of them.”

Pick n Pay has been searching for a new CEO since February following the surprise departure of Nick Badminton. Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman said the search had been “exhaustive”, but Brasher was the “natural choice” for the role because of his background, experience and expertise in all areas of the business, including the retailer’s shopper loyalty programme, which has 5.7 million members, its own label ranges and its online shopping business.

Brasher added: “Pick n Pay is one of the most respected players down there, and I’m confident I can play a positive role in its growth, and draw on my experience to good effect.”

Shares rose 7% on the news on Wednesday.