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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

KENYA AIRWAYS (KQ) FIRES FINANCE DIRECTOR ALEX MBUGUA

Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways has fired its Finance Director Alex Mbugua amidst escalating financial losses that have virtually wiped out the company's equity.

In a terse statement to staff, Chairman of the Board Dennis Awori said Dick Murianki would assume acting Group FD position until a competitive recruitment is done.
Murianki has been the General Manager, Cargo.

The move seen as long overdue comes after KQ experienced one of the worst corporate losses on the African continent with a Sh29billion pre-tax loss in the last financial year.

Mbugua has been at the helm of the carrier's financial operations during which it has suffered multi-billion shilling losses, each accompanied with various explanations.

The company was first caught out by the surge in global fuel prices in 2008 when it hedged fuel at about US$100/barrel before crude prices plunged to US$45 that same year leaving it with obligations to pay Citibank US$65 per barrel.

The company was also caught off-guard when the Boeing 787 Dreamliners it has ordered delayed in shipping from the original 2009 delivery date.

KQ had already planned for the phase out of its ageing 767 jumbo jets but had to renegotiate new expensive leases.

A strike by staff cost the company close to Sh1billion in revenue and the Eurozone crisis, Terrorist attacks and the devastating Ebola outbreak in its bread and butter West Africa market served devastating financial blows to company fortunes.

Frenzied lobbying in a bid for the top job after the retirement of former CEO Titus Naikuni by Mbugua did not work as the position went to Mbuvi Ngunze, who had been brought in, in 2011 as Chief Operations Officer.

With new board members including the highly respected Dr. Kapkirwok, seen by many as the true architect of the success KQ enjoyed in the early to mid 2000s when he was in charge of strategy, KQ is seen to be on the road to recovery.


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