Posta launches search for new chief executive

Postal Corporation customers queue for services at the General Post Office in Mombasa last year.  File
Postal Corporation customers queue for services at the General Post Office in Mombasa last year. File 

The Postal Corporation of Kenya will Wednesday morning start the search for a new postmaster general through an advertisement that is calling for applications.

The State-owned firm says it is keen on a candidate with a 15-year experience and holds a post-graduate qualifications, preferably an MBA — a move that has ended the era of political appointments to head the corporation.

The notice comes two days after PCK tapped Enock Kinara, the general manager for financial services at the firm as the acting post master general to replace Maj General (Rtd) Hussein Ali, a former Commissioner of Police.

Maj Gen Ali, who has been at the helm since 2009 left after the board of directors found his performance in the first three years of service wanting.

“The corporation seeks to recruit a dynamic, innovative and business oriented Kenyan chief executive officer,” says the PCK job notice. Applicants have until June 14 to respond.

It says the candidate must have “insight into the key issues currently driving the postal sector and the challenges unique to the corporation operating within a dynamic communications technology industry.”

This is a signal that PCK is looking for a turnaround artist to grow and defend its market share in a business environment where it is faced with stiff competition from private courier firms.

The use of technology such as e-mail, mobile phones, and mobile money transfer, which are becoming the preferred mode of communication, have continued to threaten its core business of snail mail.

“The decline can be attributed to the stiff competition the sector faces from other ICT service providers with efficient and less expensive means of communication,” says the Communications Commission of Kenya in its annual report for September to December.

The executive search marks the first time the corporation will be seeking a chief executive through a competitive process in its 15-year history.

(Read: Recruit next head of Postal Corporation competitively)
Past postmasters general have been political appointees.

The former police chief was appointed postmaster-general in September 2009, taking over from Fred Odhiambo. Others who have served in the post include Dan Ameyo and Francis Chahonyo

The US consulting firm, IBM, released a report recommending vigorous restructuring of the postal corporation with an aim of getting on board a “younger, energetic talent” to drive the agency in a competitive market.

IBM Corporate Service Corps said PCK should also tap into new business opportunities such as offering government and banking agency services to boost its earnings.

The firm said PCK should partner with other government agencies to offer online services such as motor vehicle registration, passport and personal identification numbers (PIN) through its 637 outlets countrywide.

The parastatal’s board in March concluded that Maj-Gen (Rtd) Ali had failed to meet the threshold of 70 per cent needed to retain him at the helm.

(Read: Poghisio to respect Posta’s verdict on Ali)
He scored 52 per cent and the board asked Mr Samuel Poghisio, the Information minister, to retire him and hire a new CEO.
The verdict came despite Maj–Gen (Rtd) Ali having in mid-March asked the board to extend his contract in line with new guidelines that require CEOs of State-owned companies to seek renewal of their contracts six months before the expiry date.
His term is due to end in September but Dr Bitange Ndemo, the PS at the ministry, said he will proceed on leave from today pending retirement.