Uchumi picks Mohammed Ahmed to head retailer

Written By: O'brien Kimani
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Uchumi Supermarkets has picked Mohammed Ahmed to head the retailer in an acting capacity to replace Dr. Julius Kipngetich who resigned as the chief executive last week.

The resignation of Dr. Kipngetich comes less than a week after the National Treasury released a 700 million shillings bailout package to rescue the ailing retailer.

Known in business circles as turnaround guru, Dr. Julius Kipngetich was head hunted from financial services firm Equity Holdings to rescue Uchumi supermarkets which is in a financial dire strait.

Before joining Equity, Dr. Kipngetich helped improve the financial fortunes of Kenya Wildlife Service, positioning KWS as a premier research and wildlife protection agency.

But two years into the job at Uchumi Supermarkets, Dr. Kipngetich has thrown in the towel in a move likely to derail the recovery of the ailing retailer.

Today, Uchumi’s shelves are still largely empty while suppliers are yet to be paid their billions. The resignation of Dr. Kipngetich comes less than a week after the National Treasury released a 700 million shillings bailout package to rescue the ailing retailer.

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Uchumi Supermarkets chair Catherine Ngahu has told Channel one that the funds will be split among suppliers to enable a restocking of the broke retailer.

Ngahu says Kipngetich resigned to pursue personal errands. Last month Uchumi appointed British retail expert Andrew Dixon who until recently was the chief marketing officer of Nakumatt, another struggling supermarket.

Last month, Uchumi Supermarket slashed its losses by 40 percent in the 2017 financial year to Sh1.7 billion compared to Sh2.8 billion losses in 2016.

The retailer attributed the reduced losses to improved cost management.

Ngahu has further said the board expects to close financial injection deal with un-named investors in coming weeks.

 

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