Uchumi upbeat about recovery despite CEO exit

Uchumi upbeat about recovery despite CEO exit
Uchumi taps former Nakumatt Exec. Dixon as COO

Uchumi Supermarkets management has downplayed any negative impact following the abrupt exit of chief executive officer Julius Kipng’etich.

According to Uchumi chief operating officer Andrew Dixon, the former CEO had set up a proper structure to get the retailer back to profitability.

Mr Dixon, who recently joined Uchumi from Nakumatt having previously worked at UK retailer Tesco, said Mr Kipng’etich had completed his mandate, securing deals with creditors, suppliers and employees.

“He came in originally to establish a strategy to turnaround Uchumi which included bringing in government and investor funding. He’s done that and he’s now decided that he is based placed to hand over to more experienced retailers like myself to fulfill the strategy he developed originally,” Mr Dixon said.

Mr Kipng’etich joined Uchumi in 2015 and undertook drastic restructuring measures to stem the financial losses suffered by the retailer.

Among the key actions taken include closing the struggling regional subsidiaries, cutting down on the workforce as well as closing non performing branches to cut down on high operation costs.

Uchumi in August announced it was closing in on finalizing a deal with a potential strategic investor to inject Sh3.5 billion into the company while the government is also expected to pump in an additional Sh700 million.

Mr Dixon confirmed that a strategic investor had already shown interest to inject the funds to finance growth.

“One particular party is very interested and is progressing through the process of due diligence  and that process will take up to 60 days and we are looking at the new year for the results of that process,” he said.

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