Waldo Swiegers | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Steinhoff International Holdings NV logo is displayed outside the company's offices in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
The company said late on Tuesday that the president executive Markus Jooste had resigned immediately after the discovery of new information led the company's supervisory board to ask the PwC consultants to conduct an "independent investigation".
"The Supervisory Board of Steinhoff wishes to warn shareholders that new information has come to light today the irregularities require further investigation," he said in a statement.
The furniture retailer postponed its announcement of results and a webcast scheduled for Wednesday until further notice.
Jooste had been leading Steinhoff for almost 20 years and oversaw his expansion from a furniture manufacturer in South Africa to one of the largest home appliance retailers in the world.
Billionaire Christo Wiese, the largest shareholder and president of Steinhoff, will take over as interim executive.
Steinhoff, who has his main listing in Frankfurt, said Wiese "would embark on a detailed review of all aspects of the company's business with the goal of maximizing shareholder value."