AFGRI Equipment Australia CEO, Gollie Coetzee, has reached the end of an illustrious career and will be retiring at the end of April 2023.
Gollie, or GC as he is affectionally known to his staff, started his career with John Deere South Africa as a territory manager. He worked for Deere and Company for a total of 16 years and had the opportunity to learn all facets of the agricultural equipment business.
With a wealth of experience including customer relations, dealer operations and wholesaling knowledge, Patrick Roux, Chairman of the AFGRI Australia Board, recruited Gollie in 2007 to join AFGRI in Delmas, South Africa. Together they embarked on strategic changes to ensure better customer service and aligning long term strategies for the South African group.
In 2012 Gollie was asked to relocate to Western Australia and take up the role of Operations Manager for Waltons, which had 3 branches namely Geraldton, Carnamah and Moora. Soon after he was appointed to the AFGRI Australia Board as Operations Director and CEO. With numerous strategic changes, including renaming Waltons to AFGRI Equipment Australia, the company prospered under his leadership. The culture changed with the introduction and implementation of the AFGRI values. Some of the highlights under his leadership include 4 acquisitions which led to expanding from 3 to 19 branches, along with the establishment of programs to improve regional communities around Western Australia.
With the effect of economy of scale, several new opportunities arrived. AFGRI was able to expand their precision ag leadership as well as increase their Apprentice Training Academy. When speaking about the AFGRI Academy Gollie stated, “The growth of AFGRI has enabled us as a business to establish and invest in the AFGRI Academy, which currently provides the opportunity to more than 50 students every year to commence a career in agriculture.” Along with the AFGRI skills improvement program it will place AFGRI in a prosperous position for the future, a result Gollie is truly proud of.
Part of Gollie’s strategic focus was a strong belief to nurture close relationships with customers, seeking new investment opportunities and support to local communities.
Engaging with their key partner, John Deere, AFGRI has received numerous awards including the prestigious Leadership Club award and being awarded Platinum status from John Deere Finance.
Wessel Oosthuizen joined AFGRI in 2015 as a consultant during the first acquisition. Shortly thereafter Wessel was appointed as Commercial Director and supported Gollie in establishing the company as it operates today.
As Gollie officially retires at the end of April, AFGRI Equipment would like to announce that Wessel will be taking over as CEO for the Australian operations. As they were fully aligned in their leadership and management, it will make for a smooth and effortless transition.
AFGRI would like to thank Gollie for his enormous contributions over the years and wish him all the best in his retirement.