, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 26 – Uchumi Supermarkets has appointed Julius Kipngetich as the new Chief Executive Officer as the retail chain looks forward to restructuring with a view of improving services and general performance.
Kipngetich has been the Chief Operating Officer at Equity Bank since 2012 and previously headed the Kenya Wildlife Services for eight years.
This is the second poaching of the retail chain, having taken Naivas Supermarkets Retail Business Executive Willy King’ara to be the new Chief Operating Officer (COO).
This is part of the company’s effort to fast-track its turnaround process by improving governance and operational efficiency.
Uchumi sacked Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ciano and the Chief Financial Officer Chadwick Okumu for alleged gross misconduct and gross negligence.
The action was taken amidst major challenges facing the company that include cash flow challenges that have resulted in suppliers not being paid on time.
The retail chain has halted its growth plans after noting that the expansion was conducted without internal capacity or funding.
They had plans to open eight retail branches across East Africa in a bid to competitively and strategically position their business targeting entries into Rwanda and Burundi.
The listed supermarket will also be relooking at the Tanzania and Ugandan markets which may result in closure of some stores but however will not exit the market as they believe in the opportunities available as well as its brand offering.
Uchumi has 37 stores in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with plans to venture into Rwanda and Burundi soon.
In its 2014 full year performance, Uchumi recorded a 6.8 percent decline in pre-tax profit to Sh453 million from Sh486 million in 2013.