KENYA – Jumia, leading e-commerce player in Africa has appointed Kenneth Oyolla as its chief commercial officer (CCO) in Kenya, taking over from Diana Owusu-Kyereko.

The former office holder has been promoted to the position of CEO for Jumia Ghana as the firm reorganises amid its plan to cut down on losses in the face of rising competition with the entrance of new online shopping platfrom, Shopnaw, a brand of Ghanaian incorporated limited, Big Ben Express.

Mr Oyolla brings a wealth of experience in his new capacity. He held both the Geneal Manager in Sub Saharan Africa and Global Head of Marketing roles in Nokia between 2010 and 2014.

He was also the Global Head of Marketing Activation at Microsoft, Commerical General Manager at Multichoice, CEO of Blueflame Technologies and the Group Head of Commerical at IPS before heading off to Jumia.

He brings a vast knowledge in branding, marketing, business development and e-commerce that Jumia says he will look into “connecting consumers to brands and create jobs across the value chain which is transformative.”

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nairobi and is an alumnus of London Business School and is also an accomplished leader with deep operational and leadership experience gained across multiple geographies globally.

He joins Jumia after the e-commerce cut down its operations in Africa and reduced its staff across its markets in a cost-cutting measure that is part of its plan to turn a profit.

Last year saw the ecommerce business shutting operations in Rwanda, Tanzania and Cameroon. They closed off Jumia Travels that was taken over by Travelstart. In Kenya, they laid off 6% of the workforce.

Additionally, there is unconfirmed information that the platform is mulling to pull out of Congo and Gabon.

In its third quarter the e-commerce posted revenue growth of 19% (€40 million) and increased its active customer base 56% to 5.5 million from 3.5 million over the same period a year ago.

But so too have the company’s losses, which widened 34% to €54.6 million, compared to €40.6 million of 2018. Negative EBITDA increased 26% to €45.4 million from €35.8 over the same period in 2018.

The company will now operate in 11 countries including Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Algeria.