BAT appoints Isuzu boss Rita Kavashe as new board chair


The board of the British American Tobacco

(BAT) has appointed Isuzu East Africa chief executive Rita Kavashe as the new chairperson to replace George Maina who has served as director and chairperson of the company for nine years.

In a public notice Tuesday, the company’s secretary Kathryne Maundu said the appointment takes effect on September 1, for a period of three years.

The appointment of Ms Kavashe comes in less than two months since she was appointed at the as a non-executive director of 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,” said Ms Maundu in the public notice Tuesday.

“Subsequently, the Board announces the appointment of Ms. Rita Kavashe, as the new chairperson of the board effective 1st September 2020,” she said.

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.

In 2017, she was awarded the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) for exemplary service to the Country as a business leader.

She joined General Motors in 1995 and has held several key roles in sales and marketing, both in Kenya and South Africa.

She is also the chairperson of the Kenya Roads Board, a non-executive Director of Bamburi Cement Limited (Lafarge Group), Vice-Chair of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and serves as a Member of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board.

She is expected to help direct BAT’s strategy, drawing from her experience in manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Mr Maina was appointed to the company’s board as an Independent non-executive director in November 2010 and thereafter as chairperson of the board from September 2013.

During his tenure, the company recorded significant growth evidenced in its strong performance.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm reported a 5.9 per cent increase in net profit to Sh2.6 billion in the half year ended June, helped by reduced costs and lower taxation.