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BAT names Isuzu MD as the new chair

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1- British American Tobacco has appointed Rita Kavashe as the board chair effective immediately.

Kavashe replaces George Maina who was at the helm of the board as a non-executive director too for a period of nine years.

The cigarette manufacturer in a statement on Tuesday described Maina as a leader who’s impact leaves behind a much stronger and more sustainable organisation.

“George has contributed immensely to the growth of BAT Kenya he has led the company through a period of major transformation, including overseeing the Company’s first step in its ambition to build A Better Tomorrow for its stakeholders, ” said BAT Kenya Managing Director Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo.

Kavashe’s appointment marks the first time in BAT Kenya’s history that it has had a woman chairing the Board..

“This means that we now have 40% female representation on the Board – a significant step in furthering the Company’s Gender diversity agenda, following BAT’s adoption of the UN Global Compact in 2019,” Spencer added.

BAT hopes to tap into Kavashe’s knowledge to  continue delivering sustained value to its shareholders and the larger economy.

“Our new tobacco-free oral nicotine products are central to this ambition and Rita’s rich experience in the manufacturing and private sector will be invaluable as we look to localise manufacturing of the product through a Sh2.5bn factory investment,” Spencer noted while announcing Kavashe’s appointment.

Kavashe currently works as the managing director of Isuzu East Africa, the largest motor vehicle assembler in East Africa.

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