John Ngumi resigns as Kenya Airways independent director

John Ngumi has quit the KQ Board. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Former Safaricom Chair and investment banker John Ngumi has resigned as an independent Non-Executive Director of Kenya Airways.

The KQ Board of Directors notified of Ngumi's resignation on Friday, June 2, though they did not immediately state his reasons for quitting.

"My departure is motivated by my belief that now the tough work of stabilising KQ is starting to bear fruit, it is the right time for others to come in and build on the transformational platform that the Board and Management of KQ have created," Ngumi said of his decision.

"I remain a firm believer in KQ's strategic and economic importance to Kenya, and I am confident that before long Kenyans will also recognise that KQ is worthy and deserving of the critical and invaluable support it has received, and continues receiving, from the Kenya Government," a statement on Friday read.

KQ Board chairman Michael Joseph noted that Ngumi was instrumental in turning around financial challenges at the national carrier into opportunities.

"He was central to concerted efforts by the Board and Management that saw KQ overcome extreme challenges especially those posed by Covid-I9, including the urgent, simultaneous need to tackle head-on entrenched costs and expenses while seeking to grow revenue," the board chair said in a statement.

Ngumi was first elected to the Board in 2019. According to Joseph, he joined KQ at a time when the severity and seriousness of the airline's financial challenges were becoming apparent.

Ngumi is currently under probe over his alleged involvement in brokering the Sh6.1 billion acquisition of Telkom Kenya.

The Board has named David Kabeberi as Ngumi's replacement, but in an interim capacity.

"The Board has appointed FCPA James David Kabeberi as a Director of the Company to fill a casual vacancy until the next Annual General Meeting (AGM)."

Kabeberi has served as an ex-officio member of KQ's Audit and Risk Committee.

He holds a wealth of experience, with over 40 years in accounting, finance, and business strategy in several industries, and in both public and private sectors.

Kabeberi also sits on the boards of First Assurance Company Ltd and Proctor and Allan Ltd among other companies.

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