The East African Breweries Limited has appointed Andrew Cowan as its new managing director, taking over from Charles Ireland who has steered the brewer for three years.
EABL, which is 50.02 per cent owned by UK multinational Diageo, has announced that Mr Cowan, a Briton, will be taking over leadership of the company beginning July 28.
Mr Cowan, who joined Diageo in 2008, has until now been the country director for Diageo in Great Britain (GB) following prior commercial director roles in Ireland.
“We are certainly pleased to have Mr Cowan at EABL, as an established global business leader in the FMCG business,” Charles Muchene, the brewer’s board chairman, said in a statement.
“We see him bringing in a lot of expertise and commercial leadership which will be a good fit for the business. This will help us consolidate on the good progress and solid foundation that we have built over the years,” he added.
Mr Ireland, who was appointed EABL MD in April 1, 2013, leaves Kenya to take up the newly created role of general manager Great Britain, Ireland and France for Diageo. He will be based in London.
Prior to his appointment as EABL boss, Mr Ireland was the managing director of Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) in Malaysia, a joint venture between Diageo plc and Asia Pacific Breweries.
It is Diageo’s practice to replace its seconded executives after three years of service.
The sale of land and a glass bottle manufacturing subsidiary boosted EABL’s half-year (to December) net profit by over two-thirds to Sh7.7 billion as sales grew eight per cent to Sh37.5 billion.
“During Mr Ireland’s time, EABL has become one of the best performing markets in Diageo and the fastest growing market for Guinness. Sustainable development performance has also significantly improved, as evidenced by local material sourcing which increased from 45 per cent to over 80 per cent,” said Mr Muchene.