KENYA – The cash-strapped Mumias Sugar Company is seeking to hire a new chief executive to take over its bumpy turnaround plan.

The troubled miller, currently shut down for maintenance, has advertised the position as Errol Johnston’s two-year renewable term ends in August.

Mr Johnston, who is on leave, is said to have lost interest in the position despite his eligibility for another term after the board disapproved of his performance in reviving the limping miller.

Board chairman Kennedy Mulwa said the CEO had chosen not to seek a second term “but will serve the company in other capacities from time to time.”

Voluntary exit

“Mr Johnston has voluntarily opted for non-extension of his service as the chief executive officer at Mumias Sugar Company and the board has accepted this position.

‘‘The board has therefore embarked on the process of seeking a replacement in good time to allow for smooth transition,” Mr Mulwa said in response to our queries.

Mr Johnston, who previously headed the company from 1998 to 2001, was billed to be the turnaround artiste for the country’s largest miller when he took over in August 2015.

A management transition coming shortly after a recent board overhaul and amid the transformation headwinds could disrupt the miller’s hopes of overcoming financial troubles.

“This is just a normal transition and you should not read anything beyond it. Troubles are always there and that is why we are working to turn around Mumias,” said Mr Moses Owino, the corporate strategy planning and communication manager.

No turnaround

The ideal candidate is expected to be a holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with some 10 years of experience in executive management position, preferably in a manufacturing environment, according to the job advert.

The miller has gulped Sh2 billion from the government in bailouts without any major visible turnaround results, according to its financial results.

The listed firm reported a half-year net loss of Sh2.92 billion in the period to December 2016.

May 4, 2017: Business Daily