KENYA – Uchumi Supermarkets has appointed ex-Tesco executive Andrew Dixon as chief operating officer (COO) exactly a month after he left rival Nakumatt where he served as chief marketing officer.

He joined Nakumatt in November 2016 in a move by the retailer’s management to seek outside assistance to help turnaround the business that is struggling precariously under the weight of debt.

Mr Dixon is joining Uchumi at a time when it, just like Nakumatt, is dealing crippling financial challenges, which have led to stockouts across several branches as well as late payment of staff salaries.

The loss-making retailer will now be relying on Mr Dixon’s retail expertise to help turnaround its business even as management chases a Sh3.5 billion capital injection from an unnamed investor.

“The board (of Uchumi) has approved the appointment of Mr Dixon as the chief operating officer of the company,” Julius Kipngetich, Uchumi’s chief executive, said in a notice today.

“Mr Dixon has extensive experience in the retail sector and the board is confident that his expertise will support the ongoing efforts towards achieving a turnaround in the operations and business of the company,” he added.

In a career spanning over 32 years, Mr Dixon’s most eminent employer, at least in the retail space, was Tesco Plc, the UK-based multinational retail chain.

He joined the firm in 1993 as a marketing controller in charge of its health and beauty instore concept.

Over the nine years he worked for them, he held several positions at the retailer, the last one being the director of Clubcard, its customer loyalty programme and the largest in Europe.

Mr Dixon abruptly announced his departure from the struggling supermarket after just 11 months in office through social media platform Twitter, raising speculation about the circumstances surrounding his exit.

Business Daily