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Former Nation Media CEO takes over ailing ARM Cement

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Cement manufacturer ARM has appointed Linus Gitahi as the new Chair of its Board of Directors. The former Nation Media Group chief executive takes over from the retiring Eng. Wilfred Murungi with effect from August 13.

A statement from ARM Company Secretary John Maonga said, “Mr Linus Gitahi has joined The Board as a non-executive independent director and has been appointed as the Chairman of the Board.”

Just last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Mr. Gitahi the Non-Executive Chairperson of Brand Kenya. The latest appointment to the ARM Board  adds to Mr. Gitahi’s positions as Chair of Tropikal Brands (Africa) Limited as well as Oxygène Marketing Communications Ltd.  He also sits on the Boards of Allianz Kenya, Diamond Trust Bank, Msingi East Africa and Simba Corp.

RELATED : ARM CEMENT BANKS ON SHAREHOLDER LOANS FOR REVIVAL

Besides bringing an end to Eng. Murungi’s 24-year tenure as an ARM director, the company has also allowed Deputy Managing Director Surendra Bhatia to retire from his position at the cement manufacturer. Mr. Thierry Metro will join ARM as a non-executive non-independent director, the company said.

Eng. Murungi in a farewell letter to shareholders said the changes were part of a strategy by ARM to fend of recent financial struggles. “In common with the experience of fast growing companies worldwide, the Company has experienced turbulent operational and financial challenges, but has been able to overcome these challenges through the resilience and sustained efforts of the board and management.”

He added, “To overcome these challenges and to ensure a tunaround of the Company’s perfemance, the Board has unanimously agreed to make key changes to the leadership of the Company both at management and at Board level.”

Once Kenya’s second-largest cement maker behind LafargeHolcim’s Bamburi Cement, ARM has seen its market share plunge to just 10 percent after a clinker plant it built in Tanzania in 2014 failed to generate income.

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A public statement in June blamed power rationing, inadequate supply of coal from local sources and hyper competition as the reasons for ARM’s financial downturn.

According to a news report from international media agency Reuters, an independent auditor had said that he doubted the firm’s survival.

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Mike Njoroge
Mike Njorogehttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Mike Njoroge is the founder of Daystar Oracle and FootballTriangle. He is passionate about news, religion and sports. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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