CHANGE

Recruitment process for new Kenya Power MD was fair - chairman

The board has appointed Bernard Ngugi, who was the company’s general manager in charge of supply chain, as the new managing director and CEO.

In Summary

• Unlike other state parastatals where the recruitment process is open, including the number of applicants and shortlisted candidates, Kenya Power's  (a public listed firm) recruitment details were scant.

New Kenya Power MD Bernard Ngugi.
New Kenya Power MD Bernard Ngugi.
Image: COURTESY

Kenya Power appointed Bernard Ngugi as the new managing director and Chief Executive Officer on Tuesday of the company, but gave scant on information on the recruitment process.

Board chairman Mahboub Maalim announced Ngugi’s appointment at the company’s Nairobi headquarters as the listed firm’s share gained 3.7 per cent to open the day at Sh3.10 up from the Sh2.99 closing price on Monday.

Ngugi's appointment ends the search for the a substantial managing director since July last year.

This was after former CEO Ken Tarus was suspended following investigations over graft allegations amounting to more than Sh4.5 billion, which also involved 40 former and serving senior executives of the company  among them his predecessor Ben Chumo.

The then general manager for street lighting Jared Othieno was appointed acting CEO.

“We believe that Mr Ngugi will see the company through an important stage of its development and growth as we work to diligently implement all our plans to strengthen the company and the commercial aspects of our business,” Maalim said when he unveiled the new chief.

He thanked the interim management team led by Othieno for “stabilizing the company after the crisis occasioned by the exit of the previous management team.”

Maalim declined to reveal details of the recruitment process which was outsourced to Deloitte. 

Unlike other state parastatals where the recruitment process is open, including the number of applicants and shortlisted candidates, Kenya Power's  (a public listed firm) recruitment details were scant.

The board has however maintained it was free and fair.

 “Job application is a personal thing. We cannot begin to disclose the number of applicants,” Maalim said, “The process was fair.”

A source familiar with the process told the Star less than 10 people  applied for the job.

Energy CS Charles Keter and Othieno were missing during the announcement and taking over of office by Ngugi.

The board is counting on Ngugi to improve the company’s bottom line after a 64 per cent decline in earnings in the financial year ended June 2018 which closed at Sh1.9 billion.

It has already issued a profit warning for the year to June 30, saying profits could drop by more than 25 per cent meaning net profit could be at or below Sh1.44 billion.

Ngugi was the company’s general manager in charge of supply chain. He has over 30 years’ experience in the company with expertise in financial and revenue accounting, internal audit and supply chain management.

“My immediate focus is to lead the company towards improved profitability while ensuring the business fulfils its socio-economic purpose," Ngugi said.

This, he said will be achieved by implementing Kenya Power's five year strategic plan that broadly aims at delivering excellent customer service and ensuring business sustainability.

Kenya Power has been on the spot over a number of issues, among them inflation of power bills for postpaid customers. to pay.

The immediate former Auditor General Edward Ouko in his review of Kenya Power book’s pointed out anomalies in the firm’s loan provisioning and debt contracting, raising alarm on the prudent management of the state corporation.

In 2017, Kenya Power was accused of ‘book cooking’  after it failed to pass on Sh10.2 billion in fuel bills to consumers.