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Kenya Airways AGM votes banking women into board

Caroline Armstrong-Ogwapit and Wanjiku Mugane who have been voted into the Kenya Airways board of directors. PHOTO | COURTESY
Caroline Armstrong-Ogwapit and Wanjiku Mugane, who have been voted into the Kenya Airways board of directors. PHOTO | COURTESY  WANJIKU MUGANE

There are two new faces in the Kenya Airways board of directors — banking industry veterans Wanjiku Mugane and Caroline Armstrong-Ogwapit.

This follows elections held at the airline’s annual general meeting in Nairobi on Friday, November 21 to fill two vacant positions.

The vote sees the struggling carrier take on board two women into the top decision making body after braving criticism over its male-dominated board.

In a statement released Tuesday, board chairman Evanson Mwaniki said that Ms Mugane received 50 per cent of the vote (846.47 million votes) and Mrs Armstrong-Ogwapit 49.98 per cent (846.22 million).

Others vying for directorship of the airline were Edith Mawia Malombe who received 220, 783 votes and Paul Kipkoech Mibei with 148,562 votes, each representing about 0.01 per cent of the votes. 

Jackton Ochieng Obuola got 44,518 votes.

Ms Mugane, 50, is an investment banker who has previously served as a non-executive director on the boards of Equity Bank and East African Breweries.

She is the managing director of Fedha Connect Ltd, a firm that helps raise capital for corporates in real estate, oil and gas and agribusiness.

Mugane co-founded and ran First Africa Capital, a finance advisory concern she and her colleagues sold to Standard Chartered Bank in 2009. Rebranded Standard Chartered Securities, the deal-making unit remained under her charge until it was closed last year in changes that led to her departure.

Mrs Armstrong-Ogwapit is a director of strategic projects at Housing Finance.

She has previously been head of customer service at Barclays Bank and served as vice chairperson of the National Mining Task Force.

KQ has brought in the new faces to the board at a time when the company is under scrutiny following a year of record losses, and a change in top management following the departure of long serving CEO Titus Naikuni, who was replaced by Mbuvi Ngunze at beginning of this month.

KQ announced an after-tax loss of Sh10.5 billion for the half year to September 30, affected by a hit on business from the Ebola crisis and the travel advisories issued against Kenya.

Others on the board, which is chaired by Evanson Mwaniki, include Group Managing Director and chief cxecutive Mbuvi Ngunze, Group Finance Director Alex Mbugua, Dinesh Kapila, Nduva Muli, Dennis Awori, Ron Schipper, Pieter Elbers, Dr Kamau Thugge, Ayisi Makatiani, Vincent Rague and Joseph Veenstra (alternate to Elbers and Schipper).

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