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Hunt for new NOC boss begins

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – The National Oil Corporation is searching for a new chief executive.

Mwendia Nyaga who has been at the helm of the organization since October 2007 will be retiring in September 2010 but is anticipated to serve the company in a different capacity, in the advent of an anticipated corporate restructuring.

Sumayya Hassan-Athmani, currently Deputy Managing Director, has been named by the Board of Directors to serve as the acting CEO.

Mrs Athmani who was a key driver in   the formulation of the Corporation’s Current five year strategy holds a Bachelor of Laws, Honours degree from Lancaster University , United Kingdom and a Masters in Law degree in Commercial Law from University of Bristol , United Kingdom and is also an advocate of the High Court.

She is a graduate of the University of Oxford Business School with training on strategy, finance, HR, operations, marketing, leadership and change management. She joined National Oil in 2004 and has served as the Deputy Managing Director since 2007.

Her previous mandate saw her  spearhead the development of the Corporation’s 5 year (2008 – 2013) Strategic Plan and successful implementation of the previous 3 year (2005-2008) Strategic Plan which resulted in increase in market share from -1 percent to 5 percent.

She was the Strategic Leader in the Corporation’s successful July 2007 acquisition of 10% of Kenya Shell’s retail outlets resulting in a 57% increase in the Corporation’s retail outlets from 21 to 33 outlets.

Mrs Athmani brings on board vast experience in management and lead legal counsel positions having worked with different organisations in the private sector before joining National Oil Corporation.

National Oil Corporation Chairman, Peter Munga paid tribute to the outgoing chief executive for the positive gains the parastatal made under his tenure: "Under the leadership of Mr. Mwendia Nyaga, National Oil has played a greater role in both upstream and downstream activities. Mr Nyaga increased the firm’s product lines to include National Oil branded LPG; ‘SupaGas’ and also commenced the process of turning the exploration data centre into a virtual National Data Centre, to ensure the firm played a greater role in oil exploration. All of us at National Oil want to thank Mr Nyaga for his dedication and inspired leadership during his 3 years with the company.

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He added: "In Hassan-Athmani we have a strong leader who has earned the respect of the Board and has been central to the company’s strategic growth plans, which are at the core of the corporation’s activities."

The new acting Chief Executive said: "The management team and I are confident in our employees and our ability to effectively implement the firm’s strategic plan."

The change of guard at Management level comes at a time when the corporation is gearing up to play a key role in the provision of the energy required to drive Vision 2030. The firm is expected to provide for the establishment of strategic petroleum imports as well as 30 percent petroleum import quota allocation to safeguard the country against supply shocks and stabilize the market.

On the retail front, National Oil is aiming to position itself as a market leader by achieving a market share of at least 15 percent while growing its retail stations to at least 165 by 2013. The firm is currently focused on enhancing product offerings at its retail station by rolling out alternative value added services.

In the upstream, the corporation is exploring a restructuring to strengthen its exploration function in order to actively participate in oil and gas exploration and effectively play its role as the Government’s agency for exploration.

The firm is also modernising the national geochemical laboratory, implementing the modernisation of the National Data Centre while also exploring partnerships with respect to exploration blocks.

The firm’s strategic plan is aimed at ensuring stability in the supply and pricing of petroleum products in the country.

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