Tuskys appoints its CFO Chadwick Okumu to be company’s interim Chief Executive Officer

KENYA – The struggling retailer, Tuskys Supermarket has appointed its chief financial officer (CFO) Chadwick Okumu as its interim Chief Executive Officer following the departure of Dan Githua last year.

Prior to joining Tuskys, Okumu was Chief Financial Officer of Uchumi Supermarket for eight years and has worked in various finance capacities at Reckitt Benchiser and Keroche Breweries.

“Mr Chadwick Okumu is the acting Chief Executive at Tuskys. The process of appointing a substantive boss has taken long because getting the right person for the job is not easy,” the retailer’s chairman Bernard Kahianyu told the Business Daily.

Okumu will be tasked with lifting Tuskys from the edge of the abyss following a cash-crunch crisis that has made it sit on pilling debts.

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The former CEO, Mr Githua is currently working at a Mauritius owned firm AnkoRetail, where sellers can register as vendors and start trading.

He was the first non-family chief executive of the supermarket chain, appointed in 2015 to oversee the retailer’s transformation from a tightly-controlled family business to a larger retail group with dreams of even listing at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

“The process of appointing a substantive boss has taken long because getting the right person for the job is not easy.”

Tuskys Chairman – Bernard Kahianyu

Tuskys has lost most of its stores from a mix of voluntary closures and asset seizures by landlords and other creditors over unpaid debt and has been talking about raising billions of shillings from loans and equity investors but the plans appear to have stalled.

The last that was heard of the retailer was its exit out of Nakuru county, its birth place.

The closure is the proverbial last nail in the retailer’s coffin, perhaps signifying the end of an era for the supermarket chain that began its story in the dusty township of Rongai in 1985.

It becomes the latest retailer to struggle in the competitive retail business that favours deep-pocketed operators with solid management.

Nakumatt Holdings collapsed under a load of debt which has also nearly wiped out Uchumi.

In contrast, Naivas, Quickmart and Carrefour have continued to expand, taking up space vacated by their struggling rivals.

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The French owned retailer Carrefour which has been accelerating its expansion in Kenya now boasts of 12 outlets and has also extended footprint in Uganda opening a second store.

Launch of the new outlet located at Metroplex Shopping Mall in Kampala, follows one-year anniversary celebration of Carrefour’s inaugural hypermarket in the country, located in Oasis Mall that opened its doors in February 2020.

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