UCHUMI SUPERMARKETS CHIEF EXECUTIVE JONATHAN CIANO SACKED


15 Jun 2015 | by
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UCHUMI SUPERMARKETS CHIEF EXECUTIVE JONATHAN CIANO SACKED

Uchumi Supermarkets chief executive Jonathan Ciano has been sacked over gross misconduct and negligence in sweeping changes at the country's oldest supermarket chain.Also send packing by the board are the chief finance officer Chadwick Okumu and the human resources manage Michael Kibe. The two were suspended for an unspecified period.Ciano's sacking comes just weeks before his contract comes to an end in the month of July. He has been at the helm for the last nine.The board chairperson Khadijah Mire named Owino Ayodo who was until yesterday the general manager operations to replace the CEO in an acting capacity.Ciano was last week quoted saying that he was negotiating for renewal of his term with the company’s board, but some Uchumi directors gave strong indications that he was unlikely get a fresh mandate.......

Uchumi Supermarkets chief executive Jonathan Ciano has been sacked over gross misconduct and negligence in sweeping changes at the country's oldest supermarket chain.Also send packing by the board are the chief finance officer Chadwick Okumu and the human resources manage Michael Kibe. The two were suspended for an unspecified period.Ciano's sacking comes just weeks before his contract comes to an end in the month of July. He has been at the helm for the last nine.The board chairperson Khadijah Mire named Owino Ayodo who was until yesterday the general manager operations to replace the CEO in an acting capacity.Ciano was last week quoted saying that he was negotiating for renewal of his term with the company’s board, but some Uchumi directors gave strong indications that he was unlikely get a fresh mandate.Sources within Uchumi’s board, said Uchumi’s management was “looking for new blood” to take charge of the listed retail chain that has been struggling in the fiercely competitive market.

Uchumi’s shrinking market share, falling profit and concerns on the lack of a clear strategy on how the retailer will fare in an industry that has huge potential despite increased competition are some of the issues the new boss is expected to address.In the recent past, Uchumi has lost ground to brands such as Nakumatt, Tuskys and Naivas supermarkets.International retail chains have in recent months entered the Kenyan market to fight for their share of the growing formal retail space.Walmart opened its first store in Garden City Mall last month, Carrefour is expected to open its doors by the end of the year while Choppies of Botswana has made a bid to buy out the Ukwala chain of supermarkets.Increased debt is also believed to be behind the exit of Ciano who took over the supermarket chain at a difficult period in its history.The retailer last year took a Sh405 million loan from the Co-operative Bank to pay suppliers and a Sh600 million loan from KCB to fund expansion. It floated a rights issue that raised Sh896 million in the same year.Early this month, electricity transmitting company Kenya Power suspended its contract for customer bill payments at Uchumi branches on grounds that the retailer was not remitting cash paid in.Three months ago, Jamii Bora Bank chief executive Sam Kimani was appointed to the board after the bank bought a 15.8 per cent stake in the retailer, making it the single-largest shareholder.chumi reported a drop in both half-year sales and net profit for the six months ended December 31, 2014.The listed supermarket chain made a half-year loss of Sh262.3 million compared to a net profit of Sh106.9 million recorded a similar period a year before while sales dropped to Sh6.8 billion from Sh7.2 billion over the same period. 

 

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