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Tuskys Chairman, CFO Exit as Empire Crumbles

The CFO, Okumu, was appointed interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in March 2021

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Key top-level exits have hit supermarket chain Tuskys even as the company struggles to turn its decline around. Once one of Kenya’s largest chains, Tuskys is a pale shadow of itself, struggling under the weight of Ksh19.6 Billion in debt owed to suppliers and banks.

Earlier in July, it’s largest property – a five-storey building in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) was put on auction for the second time by Equity Bank which is seeking to recover a loan of Ksh650 million. The building along Tom Mboya Street houses Tuskys Imara, one of Tuskys’ six remaining branches.

Chairman Bernard Kahianyu, who has led the board for the past three years, left his position in June at the end of his term. Chadwick Okumu, who joined as CFO before being made interim CEO after the exit of Dan Githua, has also left his position.

Kahianyu expressed confidence that his exit would allow younger individuals to steer the firm back to success. Tuskys’ plans to raise Ksh2.1 billion in a debt financing deal seem to have stalled, and creditors are pushing for the company’s liquidation.

“I left Tuskys as the chairman last month. I’m an old man and the job is very demanding. I can’t cope because I’m 77 years old as we speak,” Mr Kahianyu stated.

“The job needs a young person with the energy to turn the business around,” he added.

The CFO, Okumu has also left the company. He was appointed interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in March 2021 following the exit of Dan Githua in 2020. Githua currently works as Chief Strategy Officer at AnkoRetail, an online retail venture.

Prior to joining Tuskys, Okumu worked as Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Uchumi Supermarkets for eight years. The finance specialist has previously also held key roles at Reckitt Benkiser and Keroche Breweries.

Okumu has been replaced at Tuskys by George Gashwe who is one of Tuskys’ shareholders. Dan Githua, who was appointed in 2015, was the company’s first non-family CEO.

With Tuskys failing to pay landlords, spaces it once occupied have become free game allowing venture and PE-backed chains including Naivas and Quickmart as well as Carrefour to expand.

READ NEXT>>T-Mall: Tuskys Out, Quickmart In

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MARTIN SIELE
MARTIN SIELEhttps://loud.co.ke/
Martin K.N Siele is the Content Lead at Business Today. He is also a Quartz contributor and a 2021 Baraza Media Lab-Fringe Graph Data Storytelling Fellow. Passionate about digital media, sports and entertainment, Siele also founded Loud.co.ke
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