Uchumi Supermarkets CEO Julius Kipng’etich has resigned from the retailer two years after his appointment.
His departure from Uchumi comes as the retailer is in the midst of a restructuring program which Mr Kipng’etich has been an integral part of steering.
In a notice to shareholders, the board acknowledged the resignation adding that he was going to pursue personal interests.
“The Board of Directors has accepted, with reluctance, the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Dr Julius Kipng’etich, with effect from 30 November 2017 to pursue personal interests,” Uchumi Chair Catherine Ngahu said.
Ms Ngahu said the board had kicked off the search for a substantive replacement.
Chief financial officer Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed has been appointed as the acting CEO, working closely with newly appointed chief operations officer Andrew Dixon.
“The Board further takes this opportunity to thank Dr Kipng’etich for his dedicated service to the Company during his tenure and wishes him well in his future endeavours,” she said.
Speculation has been rife over the former Uchumi boss’ future.
Prior to joining Uchumi, Mr Kipng’etich worked as the chief operating officer for Equity Bank before which he had served as the CEO of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Mr Kipng’etich joined Uchumi in 2015 and undertook drastic restructuring measures to stem the financial losses suffered by the retailer.
Among the key actions taken include closing the struggling regional subsidiaries, cutting down on the workforce as well as closing non performing branches to cut down on high operation costs.
The efforts appeared to be bearing fruit with Uchumi cutting its full year to June loss by 39 percent to Sh1.7 billion.
Mr Kipng’etich is also credited with brokering a deal with Uchumi suppliers to convert part of the debt owed to them into equity as well as working out a new payment plan in the wake of mounting calls to liquidate the company.
Uchumi in August announced it was closing in on finalizing a deal with a potential strategic investor to inject Sh3.5 billion into the company while the government is also expected to pump in an additional Sh700 million.