Sameer Africa has appointed Peter Gitonga as Acting Managing Director following the resignation of Simon Gachomo. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Sameer Africa has appointed Peter Gitonga as Acting Managing Director following the resignation of Simon Gachomo. [Photo/sameerafrica.com]

Sameer Africa has appointed Peter Gitonga as acting Managing Director following the departure of Simon Ngigi Gachomo, who resigned to pursue personal interests.

Gitonga, who joined the board on August 1, 2015, has previously served in various capacities at senior management level in Sameer Africa.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Strategic Management from the United States International University (USIU).

Gitonga is a member of the nominations and remuneration and the finance and investment committee of the board.

Peter Gitonga. He has been appointed the acting Managing Director at Sameer Africa following the resignation of Simon Gachomo. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Peter Gitonga. He replaces Simon Gachomo who has resigned. [Photo/sameerafrica.com]

He is also a Director of Meru County Microfinance Corporation, the Chairman of Excel Girls High School and a Board member of Abothuguchi Secondary School.

Gachomo was appointed was named Managing Director in October 2018 to oversee the operations of Sameer Africa PLC and its subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

Before joining Sameer, Gachomo was the Group Managing Director of Longhorn Publishers. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Nairobi. Previously, he has held similar roles in the motoring industry.

His departure comes at a time the company is not doing well financially. Sameer Africa, which is owned by business magnate Naushad Merali, was in 2016 forced to close its Nairobi factory, which used to produce Yana tyres, due to stiff competition from China and India. Hundreds of employees lost their jobs.

Presently, it imports tyres from the two countries for distribution under contract manufacturing. But still, stock shortages and counterfeits have continued to undermine the company’s performance with its loss for the first six months of 2019 rising 15.8 times to Ksh 182.8 million complicating its recovery efforts.

“The group continues to focus on stabilising the supply pipeline to achieve optimal stocking levels,”it said.

The company was forced to issue a profit warning last December, stating its earnings were likely to plunge by at least 25% due to stock shortages resulting from production challenges faced by some of its offshore partners. It subsequently posted a loss of Ksh 686.4 million for the year ended 31 December 2018 compared to a profit of Ksh 80.4 million the previous year.

Sameer struggling to recover from reorganisation cost

Sameer has also been struggling to recover from a one-off Ksh877 million reorganisation cost, comprising Ksh 293 million for staff redundancy costs, Ksh 179 million in fixed assets impairment and Ksh 405 million it spent on impairment of raw material and factory spares.

Merali thanks Gachomo for the service he rendered and welcomed Gitonga to the new position.

“While congratulating Mr Gitonga on his appointment, the Board looks forward to drawing from his experience and expertise in steering the company to profitablity and improved share value,” Company Secretary Edgar J. Imbamba said in a notice to the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

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