EABL picks an insider to replace outgoing CEO Andrew Cowan

KENYA – Alcoholic beverages manufacture East African Breweries Limited, commonly referred as EABL, has appointed Jane Karuku as the new group managing director, putting her in charge of the operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, effective January 1, 2021.

Ms Karuku who has been heading EABL’s subsidiary Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), since September 2013 replaces Andrew Cowan who moves to EABL’s parent company Diageo as the managing director for Africa regional markets.

Mr Cowan was in charge of the beer maker for four and a half years.

“Mrs Karuku is a dynamic business leader, with strong management experience spanning over 25 years in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and non-governmental organisations. A consummate leader, her expansive experience straddles strategy development, operational management, marketing as well as organisational change management,” said EABL Group Chairman Martin Oduor – Otieno.

Ms Karuku becomes the latest top female figure in EABL leadership after Risper Genga Ohaga was last June appointed the group finance director and head of strategy following the exit of Gyorgy Geiszl to Diageo.

“We are delighted to have Ms Jane Karuku take over the role of group managing Director at EABL – Jane brings with her remarkable wealth of experience having served within the board and also managing the Kenya business

EABL has for years relied on expatriates to run its corner office since Gerald Mahinda left the helm in 2009, and the appointment of Ms Karuku is a big win for the KBL boss who has played second fiddle for a long time.

Before joining KBL, Karuku was the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), responsible for one of Africa’s largest grant-making organisations in the food security and agricultural development sector.

Previously, she has held a host of senior positions in various other organisations including Cadbury’s East & Central Africa as managing director before joining Telkom Kenya as Deputy Chief Executive and Secretary General.

At Cadbury’s, she was responsible for operations in 14 countries across Africa and during her tenure she conceived and implemented a highly successful growth programme for the business in this period.

Before Cadbury’s, Ms Karuku worked with Farmer’s Choice Kenya and Kenya Co-operative Creameries (now New KCC).

Ms Karuku’s position will be taken by Mr John Musunga.

John Musunga who has been heading GlaxoSmithKline vaccines business in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe will assume office effective March 2021.

Mr Oduor hailed Mr Cowan for steering EABL to growth including turning around its Tanzanian unit, opening a local plant in Kenya’s third largest city of Kisumu and deepening investment in Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Kampala breweries.

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