Michael Matu takes back CEO seat at Olympia Capital

Olympia capital Holding Limited deputy chairman Michael Matu. SALATON NJAU
Olympia Capital Holdings deputy chairman Michael Matu. He wrote to the Capital Markets Authority October 9, 2014 saying he was taking on the CEO role “with immediate effect”. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Olympia Capital Holdings deputy chairman is back in the chief executive’s seat at the investment firm less than two years after handing over the reins in a troubled turnaround plan.

Mr Michael Maina Wamae Matu wrote to the Capital Markets Authority Thursday saying he was taking on the CEO role “with immediate effect”.

The move seems to be aimed at drawing a line under a wave of recent boardroom activity that has worried shareholders in the investment company.

Matu, 46, had been the firm’s CEO for 17 years until 2012 when Mr Kenneth Kareithi was promoted from one of its subsidiaries to lead the firm. Also appointed at the same time was a new Finance Director, Mr David Kabeberi.

Mr Kareithi was forced out in February this year and replaced in an acting capacity by former finance manager Ms Gladys Kamau-Juma, who also held brief as Finance Director after the resignation of Mr Kabeberi two months later.

Results for the year ended February showed a 39 per cent drop in revenues to Sh500 million from Sh824 million the year before.

A small profit was declared on the back of a deferred tax liability.

Olympia Capital, formerly Dunlop Kenya, is a holding company for six firms operating in Kenya, Botswana and South Africa. The group’s subsidiaries manufacture and sell products used in the construction industry, cleaning chemicals, water pumps and fire prevention equipment.

It also has interests in real estate.

The tightly-held firm, associated with the Matu Wamae family and businessmen Paul Ndung'u and Joel Kibe, has in recent years faced some wrangling over its strategic direction and seen a number of senior-level personnel changes.

Other recent departures have included non-executive director Vincent Opanga and Shyamal Bhavani, former managing director for Kalahari Floor Tile Ltd. Bhavani was replaced by Alex Kimani who was named to the board last month.

Ms Kamau-Juma, who joined the board as an executive director last month, has been appointed Finance and Administration Director with immediate effect.