Joe Muganda. He is going to Vivo Energy as the CEO. PHOTO/COURTESY
By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
The Nation Media Group board of directors is contemplating replacing its outgoing chief executive officer Joe Muganda with a senior manager from within the company.
While the board has not ruled out the possibility of hiring a new CEO from outside the company it is evaluating some of its current senior managers and directors for possible appointment to the pinnacle of the company’s management.
The company is looking for an individual who is going to implement a new business model that will focus on generating most of its revenue from the Group’s digital platforms or online publications as compared to today where it relies 90 percent on its print publications for profits.
This decision has been informed by the realization that over-relying on the print section for advertising revenue has resulted in the Group losing its editorial independence due to media capture.
Media capture is a growing phenomenon linked both to the resurgence of authoritarian governments as well as to the structural weaknesses presently afflicting media markets.
In this environment, the political elite and economic barons are colluding to undermine the independence of privately-owned media through control of advertising revenue.
Currently, most media houses in Kenya get nearly 70 percent of their advertising revenue from both the national and county governments and other state agencies.
Since the government stopped directly advertising in local dailies and instead introduced My Gov, a publication of the Government Advertising Agency that is published in local newspaper once of twice per week, media houses profits have dwindled imensely.
The NMG is looking for a strategic and innovative CEO who is going to built a new tech-driven business model in line with the digital-first approach initiated by Muganda.
Below are some NMG senior managers and directors who are being evaluated for the gigantic job of turning around the dwinding fortunes of the Group.
DENNIS ALUANGA-NMG BOARD MEMBER
Dennis Aluanga has previously worked at NMG as the Group Finance Director and the Chief Operating Officer. He is said to be in a pole position to take over from Muganda if the Group decides to hire a CEO from within.He holds an MBA from the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) and is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya. He was appointed to the NMG board in March 2009. He is a Partner at Helios Investment Partners, an Africa focused private investment firm. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer at Industrial Promotion Services (East Africa). He is also a director of Equity Bank Limited and Vivo Energy Kenya Limited. He chairs the NMG Risk and Compliance Committee and is a member of the Editorial Committee.
Stephen Gitagama is currently the acting CEO pending the departure of Muganda.He holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Nairobi and is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya. He is the Group Finance Director and was appointed to the Board in March 2008. He previously worked as a Finance Director with East African Breweries Limited. Mr. Gitagama is a director of the Group’s Subsidiary Companies and is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.
MICHAEL NGUGI-ADVERTISING DIRECTOR
Michael Ngugi has been the NMG advertising director since January 2009. He holds a Bsc. degree from Jacksonville University, Florida, US and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, General Management Programme. He has over 15 years’ experience in general management in the telecommunications, FMCG and petroleum sectors. Mr. Ngugi has previously held senior positions within the advertising and circulation functions at NMG.
Tom Mshindi is the NMG Editor-in-Chief. He is a graduate of the University of Nairobi School of Journalism and has an AMP certificate from Strathmore Business School and another from IESE, New York. He worked for the Nation Media Group as a journalist rising to the position on Managing Editor of the Daily Nation before joining UNICEF as an editor in New York. He served as UNICEF’s chief of communications in its Nigeria programme. He has worked as the Chief Executive Officer of the Standard Media Group before taking up appointment as the Managing Director of Monitor Publications Limited and subsequently at Nation Newspapers division. Mshindi was appointed the Editor-In Chief on 5 June 2015 and appointed an Alternate Director.
FRANCIS MUNYWOKI-MANAGING DIRECTOR PRINT
He is currently slated for the managing director in charge of print. Previously worked at The Standard Group as the executive director in charge of Value and Innovation from August 2011 before he was later promoted to the Managing Director, Print Business and Director of Innovation before leaving this year to join Nation Media Group as the managing director in charge of print. Munywoki holds a BSc – Electrical and Communication and MBA from the London Business School.