Isuzu MD Rita Kavashe named BAT board chair

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Rita-Kaveshe BAT
Isuzu East Africa Managing Director Rita Kaveshe. PHOTO/COURTESY

British American Tobacco (BAT) has handpicked Isuzu East Africa’s Managing Director Rita Kavashe to chair the cigarette manufacturer’s board of directors effective September 1, 2020.

Ms. Kavashe’s appointment will run for a period of three years and she will take over from George Maina who has decided to retire after serving in the position since September 2013. Mr. Maina initially joined the company as a non-executive director in November 2010.

Coincidentally, the appointment comes only two months after Ms. Kavashe was named non-executive director at the cigarette manufacturer.

“The board of director of BAT announces the retirement of Mr. George Maina as a director and consequently as the chairperson of the board with effect from 31st August 2020,” the company’s secretary Kathryne Maundu said a public notice on Tuesday.

“Subsequently, the Board announces the appointment of Ms. Rita Kavashe, as the new chairperson of the board effective 1st September 2020,” Ms. Maundu added in the notice.

The new BAT CEO is anticipated to steer the firm’s growth strategy, drawing from her experience in manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Ms. Kavashe’s career kicked off in 1995 when she was appointed Direct Sales Representative at General Motors. Her career at the vehicle focused company spanned 22 years and she held senior and managerial roles in the company during her stay. She left the company in July 2017 after serving as Managing Director for six and a half years. Soon after she was named Isuzu CEO.

Ms. Kavashe also serves as the chairperson of the Kenya Roads Board and as a non-executive Director of Bamburi Cement Limited. She is also the Vice-Chair of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and a member of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board.

Ms. Kavashe holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Moi University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nairobi.

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