The hunt for a successor to Joe Muganda as CEO of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)- listed Nation Media Group (NMG) could take longer that expected after it emerged acting CEO Stephen Gitagama is presently the only one in the running.
The NMG Board had early this year shortlisted three candidates for job but two of them were later dropped leaving it with the option of either confirming Gitagama to the coveted post or going back to the drawing board.
We could not immediately establish what option the Wilfred Kiboro-led Board has chosen but the recent decision by Polycard Igathe to join Equity Bank as Commercial Director is said to have been made after he learnt he was no longer being considered for the position.
Though Igathe, who holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi and is a graduate of the Strathmore University’s Advanced Management Program (AMP) with IESE Business School in Spain, boasts of nearly 18 years of experience in the corporate world, he is reported to have been edged out on account of age. He turns 46 on September 21.
The former Managing Director of Vivo Energy and Nairobi Deputy Governor was initially seen the front-running candidate to head East Africa’s largest and most diversified media house especially at a time there were reports that the Kenyatta family was keen on buying into the media house.
On the other hand, though Kibati, who as Director General of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board is credited with much of the economic successes realised under the Kibaki administrations, is the most qualified of the three, word is that NMG was unable to meet his terms.
An Electrical Engineering graduate from Moi University, Kibati also holds MBA in International Business Finance from George Washington Town University and Masters in Economics from the University of Massachusetts. He has held various top corporate positions including CEO and Group Managing Director of the East African Cables, CEO at Sanlam Group (previously Pan Africa Insurance Holdings). Currently, he serves as Group Chairman, M-Kopa Solar.
Gitagama, who has been acting since Muganda left for Vivo Energy at the end of February, holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Nairobi and is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya. He is the Group Finance Director and was appointed to the Board in March 2008.
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He previously worked as a Finance Director with East African Breweries Limited. Gitagama is a director of the Group’s Subsidiary Companies and is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.