AFRICA – Africa’s leading eCommerce and logistics company, Jumia, has undertaken a major reshuffling of its executive leadership following the resignation of its two Co-CEOs Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec.

Hodara and Poignonnec launched Jumia alongside Tunde Kehinde and Kofi Afaedor in 2012 and had been at the helm of Africa’s only publicly traded company on the NYSE since then.

They oversaw Jumia’s pan-African expansion across 11 countries as well as its product journey that now includes a marketplace, JumiaPay, its payment arm and a logistics platform.

The two also led the e-commerce platform to become Africa’s first unicorn in 2016, raising over US$850 million over the next couple of years, money it used to expand into new markets and set the stage for its IPO three years later.

Despite steering it to growth, they also governed the business to navigate a few hurdles including battling several fraud allegations, public relations crises, and increasing losses in back-to-back quarterly reports, highlights Tech Crunch.

Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec commenting on their exit stated, “We are proud to have built Jumia, pioneering ecommerce on the continent and creating along the way a unique culture and a great platform in which millions of consumers and thousands of sellers find great value.

“It is time for us to pass the baton to a new team, we are excited for all that is to come for the business and look forward to cheering the Company on from a new vantage point.”

Taking over the helm of the ecommerce platform, Jumia has appointed Francis Dufay as the Acting CEO.

Francis has been with the company since 2014 and has held multiple senior leadership roles, including CEO of Ivory Coast and recently Executive Vice President (EVP) Africa with responsibility for the group’s e-commerce business across Africa.

He has a track record of successfully scaling e-commerce operations in Africa with a strong focus on profitability, bringing a deep understanding of the business and the markets Jumia operate in.

The Supervisory Board has also named Antoine Maillet-Mezeray previously the Group Chief Financial Officer, as the new Executive Vice President, Finance & Operations.

Antoine has been with Jumia for over six years and has played an instrumental role in driving the finance function and further developing it in a public market context.

Jonathan Klein, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said, “We thank Jeremy and Sacha for their leadership over the last decade to envision and build a company that became the leading pan-African e-commerce player.

“As we look ahead to the next chapter of Jumia’s journey, we want to bring more focus to the core e-commerce business as part of a more simplified and efficient organization with stronger fundamentals and a clearer path to profitability.

“We look forward to working closely with Francis, Antoine and the leadership team to execute on these objectives and continue on our mission of offering a compelling ecommerce platform to consumers, sellers and the broader Jumia ecosystem in Africa.”

Francis, Antoine and the broader leadership team have their work cut out for them including building even stronger fundamentals for the company’s e-commerce businesses by refocusing teams and resources on activities and projects delivering the best added value to consumers, sellers and the broader Jumia ecosystem.

In addition, they are charged with reducing operating losses and setting the business on a clear path to profitability, through stronger cost discipline, targeted monetization initiatives and a more simplified and efficient organization.

Francis Dufay and Antoine Maillet-Mezeray stated, “We have an outstanding platform, a strong brand and a talented team. We believe in Jumia’s relevance to African consumers and are confident in the Company’s ability to deliver strong results.

“We are working on a comprehensive plan to bring more focus to the business and drive sharper execution to scale the business towards profitability.”

The company will be making select senior management changes with a focus on locating leaders and decision centres closer to consumers and sellers in Africa. In parallel, a search for a permanent CEO is ongoing.

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