The Standard Group has kicked off the hunt for a successor to Editorial Director Joseph Odindo by enlisting the services of consulting firm, Manpower Services (K) Ltd.
In an advertisement placed in the newspaper recently, the recruiting agency said those interested in the position have until July 31 to submit their applications.
The move means the Mombasa Road-based company is keen to recruit its editorial chief competitively rather than elevating one of its editors as previously anticipated.
Those who were billed to replace Odindo include Deputy Editorial Director and Group Managing Editor Daily Editions Kipkoech Tanui and Group Managing Editor Weekend Editions John Bundotich.
It would be interesting to see who the media house will eventually settle on and whether it will bring to an end the practice of political balancing that has been traditionally the trend at the Standard when it comes to editorial and management positions. As an unwritten rule, Standard Group, thanks to its ownership, has almost always retains a Kalenjin (preferably Tugen or Keyio) in an influential position. Its owners include retired President Daniel arap Moi and his family (who belong to the Tugen clan of the Kalenjin) together with his close associates such as Joshua Kulei.
With the confirmation of Orlando Lyomu (a Luhya) as Chief Executive Officer, media watchers say it would be an extraordinary affair if the Editorial Director will be picked from outside Kalenjin networks.
During Sam Shollei’s time as CEO, at some point both the editorial head (John Bundotich) and CEO (Shollei), were both Kalenjins, before Odindo’s was brought in to tilt the balance. Before Mr Shollei, there was Paul Melly who was deputy chairman and de facto CEO with editorial leadership alternating between Kalenjins and journalists from other communities.
Odindo is set to leave the company in November after opting not to renew his three-year contract.
Here is the Manpower Services (K) Ltd advertisement: