The Standard Group board of directors has intensified its search for a replacement for its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sam Shollei, who resigned last year. Group Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer Orlando Lyomu took over as acting CEO in September last year pending the recruitment of a substantive holder.

On Wednesday, the board held a meeting, whose main agenda, according to sources, included the issue of who will replace Shollei, who has since moved to Keroche Breweries as Managing Director.

Former Uchumi CEO Julius Kipng’etich, who was appointed as one of the media house’s non-executive directors, was initially seen as a top choice in taking over from him. However, he has since been named as the regional CEO for Jubilee Holdings.

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Kipng’etich resigned from listed Uchumi in December last year before the expiry of his contract heightening speculation he was headed for the Mombasa Road-headquartered media house.

Two other leading media houses in the country currently are running without substantive CEOs. Nation Media Group CEO Joe Muganda quit his position late last year and has picked up the Managing Director’s position at Vivo Energy. He is serving notice until the end of this month.

At the national broadcaster, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya also left last year after his renewed contract came to a close.

The Standard Group board is also said to have discussed strategies of improving its financial fortunes after issuing a profit warning last year following a depressed performance in the third quarter.

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Last month, the company undertook a retrenchment programme and further belt-tightening measures are not the way, according to insiders.

The more reason why the board and investors, who include former president Moi’s family, are keen to have the CEO’s position quickly filled. It is not, however, clear whether the board has come up with a shortlist of potential candidates.

Another key position that need to be filled is that of Managing Director, Print Operations after Francis Munywoki also quit last year.

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