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Tuskys’ new CEO sends 7 managers home in shake-up

New Tuskys Supermarkets CEO Daniel Githua. PHOTO | FILE |
New Tuskys Supermarkets CEO Daniel Githua. PHOTO | FILE |   NATION MEDIA GROUP

Newly-appointed Tuskys Supermarkets CEO Daniel Githua has sent seven branch managers on early retirement as part of a nationwide management shake-up.

Mr Githua has also shuffled 39 branch managers, transferring them to different outlets in a reorganisation that comes less than two weeks after he joined the retailer.

The seven managers who have exited Tuskys were heading the Tom Mboya, Matasai, City Stadium, Lunga Lunga, Pioneer, and Mtwapa Two branches and had been working at Tuskys for between 15 and 25 years.

“These changes have been done in order to inject new energy into the business and to continue with the works started by directors to build better relationships with stakeholders,” said Mr Githua in a memo sent to staff on Wednesday.

“I also wish to pay my gratitude to the seven who have served the company with distinction.”

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Mr Githua’s recruitment opened a fresh rift among siblings who own the retail chain, with one family member threatening to file for the winding up of the business if his appointment was not dropped.

Yusuf Mugweru Kamau, the fourth born in the family, opposed Mr Githua’s appointment, saying the retailer’s shareholders never met to discuss his hiring.

Tuskys is run by seven siblings including Stephen Mukuha, Mr Mugweru, John Kago, George Gashwe (who was last week replaced as managing director), Sam Gatei, Mary Njoki and Kenneth Mwangi Njeri.

Mr Mugweru claimed that Mr Mukuha —who he has accused alongside two brothers of allegedly diverting Sh1.6 billion from the company’s accounts —handpicked the new CEO who previously worked under him.

Mr Githua’s move to reorganise the company comes amid a winding up ultimatum by the warring brother and shows his intent to stamp his authority in the country’s second-largest retailer.

The new CEO— who was previously the Speed Capital boss—is keen to go about his management duties, with the latest changes indicative of support from a faction of the feuding family members.

“I wish to thank the directors of Tuskys for appointing me,” Mr Githua, who was Tuskys head of audit for three years to 2012, said in the May 13 memo.

“These changes are in line with the new strategic plan which has been formulated for the period 2015-2019. The changes take effect immediately and further details about the handover process will be communicated,” he said.

Other management changes that were effected Wednesday include promoting Daniel Muya, who was working as the branch administrator at Tuskys United branch, to the position of executive analyst at the retailer’s head office.

Mr Muya’s brief is to coordinate and consolidate information for the CEO from other all company departments. Sammy Kamau, who was previously the Narok branch manager, was also moved to the internal audit unit.

As the new information systems auditor, Mr Kamau will work with a previously outsourced audit team that has now been hired as full-time employees.

Mr Githua, the first non-family CEO in Tuskys’ 25-year history, also scrapped the position of zonal managers, adding that those holding these positions will be re-absorbed in new capacities at Tuskys’ anchor stores.

Nakumatt, Ukwala, Naivas and Eastmatt are other large retail chains that are family-owned and run.

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