CHANGE OF GUARD

BAT appoints Rita Kavashe as chair

She replaces outgoing chairman George Maina

In Summary

•Maina served as a non-executive director and chair of the board for nine years.

•Kavashe is currently the managing director of Isuzu East Africa, the largest motor vehicle assembler in East Africa.

Isuzu EA managing director Rita Kavashe with marathoner Eliud Kipchoge at a past event/FILE
Isuzu EA managing director Rita Kavashe with marathoner Eliud Kipchoge at a past event/FILE

British American Tobacco Kenya has appointed Rita Kavashe the board chair, effective September 1,  2020.

She replaces George Maina, who held the position for nine years.

Kavashe's appointment marks the first time in BAT Kenya’s history that it has had a woman chairing the board.

"It means that we now have 40 per cent female representation on the board - a significant step in furthering the company’s gender diversity agenda, following BAT’s adoption of the UN Global Compact in 2019," said BAT Kenya managing director Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo.

Kavashe is currently the managing director of Isuzu East Africa, the largest motor vehicle assembler in East Africa.

 
 

In a statement on Tuesday, BAT Kenya managing director Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo said Maina has contributed immensely to the growth of BAT Kenya.

"He has led the company through a period of major transformation, including overseeing the company’s first step in its ambition to build a better tomorrow for its stakeholders," she said.

Spencer  said Kavashe's appointment comes at an ideal time, when the company is accelerating its transformation agenda.

"Our new tobacco-free oral nicotine products are central to this ambition and Rita’s rich experience in the manufacturing and private sector will be invaluable as we look to localise manufacturing of the product through a Sh2.5bn factory investment," she noted.

 
 

She said BAT  will continue to invest in the country in support of the government’s Big 4 Agenda.