By Our Reporter
The Board of East African Breweries Limited (“EABL”) on Friday December 11, 2020, announced that Mrs. Jane Karuku will be taking over as the new Group Managing Director for EABL. Mrs. Karuku, who has been a member of the EABL Board and the current Managing Director for KBL, will replace Mr. Andrew Cowan who has been in the EABL business for four and a half years. Mr. Cowan is taking up a new role in Diageo’s global business as Managing Director for Africa Regional Markets.
Mrs. Karuku is a dynamic business leader, with strong management experience spanning over 25 years in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and non-governmental organisations. A consummate leader, her expansive experience straddles strategy development, operational management, marketing as well as organisational change management.
Prior to joining KBL, Mrs. Karuku was the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), where she was responsible for one of Africa’s largest grant-making organisations in the food security and agricultural development sector.
Previously, she has held a host of senior positions in various other organisations including Cadbury’s East & Central Africa as Managing Director before joining Telkom Kenya, as Deputy Chief Executive and Secretary General. At Cadbury’s, she was responsible for operations in 14 countries across Africa and during her tenure she conceived and implemented a highly successful growth programme for the business in this period. Before Cadbury’s Mrs. Karuku worked with Farmer’s Choice Kenya and Kenya Co-operative Creameries (now known as New KCC).
Mrs. Karuku has served on several boards including Barclays Bank and is currently a Trustee of Precious Sisters, an organisation that empowers bright and underprivileged girls though education. She is the current Chairperson of Kenya Vision 2030 Board and recently led the Kenya Covid-19 Fund Board that was created by President Uhuru Kenyatta to marshal funds for combating the Coronavirus disease.
Mrs. Karuku will be replaced in the role of Managing Director, Kenya Breweries by Mr. John Musunga. Mr. Musunga has more than 25 years of experience in general management, sales, and marketing.
He joins EABL from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where he began his career as a sales representative and progressed through roles of increasing responsibility including that of Managing Director and General Manager of their Kenya and East Africa Business. He has most recently been responsible for leading GSK’s vaccines business in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe. He has previously worked in regional and global roles and lived in Belgium and South Africa.
Mr. Musunga has served on several boards in various capacities. He served as a Non-Executive Director for Vision 2030 Board, chaired the Kenya Association of Pharmaceuticals Industry, and also chaired the Kenya HIV/AIDS Business Council, among other boards.
The appointments of Mrs. Karuku and Mr. Cowan will take effect from 1st January 2021 and Mr. Musunga’s appointment will take effect by 1st March 2021. Mr. Cowan will remain a member of the EABL Board.
On the appointment of Jane Karuku, The EABL Group Board Chairman Dr. Martin Oduor-Otieno said: “We are delighted to have Mrs. Jane Karuku take over the role of Group Managing Director at EABL – Jane brings with her remarkable wealth of experience having served within the Board and also managing the Kenya business. I am very confident that her depth of expertise and knowledge of the business will lead the Group to future growth in line with our strategy.”
At the same time Dr. Oduor-Otieno thanked Mr. Cowan for his immense contribution to EABL during stint at the helm.
He said: “During his time in this role, Andrew led the development and execution of the strategy that has led to significant growth across the region. He has built a strong, inclusive management team that has led to succession by one of his own team members. He led the strategic turnaround in our Tanzania business and motivated for significant capital investments including the investment in the Kisumu plant in Kenya and expansion investment at our Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Kampala breweries.”
On the appointment of Mr. Musunga, Dr. Oduor-Otieno acknowledged the wealth of his experience.
He said: “We are delighted to have John join the business in a significant role leading the biggest subsidiary within EABL. John comes with a wealth of experience and strong legacy of business delivery and leadership in Kenya and Globally. John will be a great addition to both the Kenya and East Africa management teams. We look forward to him joining and making significant contribution to the business.”