If you ever noticed, the average age of the typical Kenyan CEO is falling by the day. Unlike the 80s and 90s when CEOs would be grey haired almost approaching the retirement age, today’s typical CEO exude a lot of energy and youthfulness. The important question is why shareholders/stakeholders are entrusting this young breed of CEOs with billions of shillings in shareholder wealth. Below are just a few examples.
-Adan Mohamed- MD, Barclays bank East and West Africa.
He assumed the mantle of CEO in his late thirties when he was just a few years out of the Harvard Business School. Barclays bank is one of the most valuable companies in Kenya and the trend is not going to stop anytime soon.
-Stella Kilonzo-CEO, Capital Markets Authority(CMA).
She was instrumental in steering the capital markets in such turbulent times as the Post election violence and the collapse of several stock brokerage firms. These two incidents eroded some of the public’s faith in the CMA although the bourse has of late regained some of the pre election confidence. Of course, the KENGEN IPO, which raked in about kshs.25 billion, proved that many Kenyans had money but with few investment options. The subsequent IPOs of Safaricom, Eveready, Mumias and the KCB and KPLC rights issue also recorded modest gains.
-Mugo Kibati-CEO- Vision 2030 secretariat.
Mr.Kibati has had an illustrious career that spurned working for a tech firm in Mombasa, Lucent technologies in the US, and CEO of East African cables. After leaving the East African Cables, he joined the Vision 2030 secretariat. His Alliance/MIT credentials also helped him somewhat.
-Linus Gitahi-Nation Media Group CEO.
Mr.Gitahi replaced the long serving Mr. Wilfred Kiboro at the Nation. Prior to that, he had been the head of GlaxoSmithKline in West Africa.
-Rene Meza-Managing Director, Airtel Kenya
Of course, Mr.Reza is not Kenyan but the boyish looking CEO is in his early thirties. A Paraguayan, he has held several international postings before his Airtel stint.
-Vimal Shah-CEO, Bidco
Mr. Shah has had many successes such as the acquisition of the Kimbo brand from Unilever Kenya. Bidco is now a major player in the edible oil fields in east and Central Africa.
-Titus Naikuni-MD, Kenya Airways.
Let’s face it, running an airline company anywhere in the world is a pretty hard job. Many an airline company CEO sighs with relief each day that passes without the company going under. Big airline companies such as British Airways have not been spared of the strikes and so has Kenya Airways. High oil prices, terrorist attacks and scare, bad weather (Such as Europe volcanoes last year) are just some of the problems that airline companies have to contend with.