Ken Ngaruiya has been confirmed as Mediamax Network Limited’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after serving in an acting capacity for one and a half years, a period when the company lost key talent.
The appointment was announced on Friday by the company’s board of directors.
“The Board of Directors of Mediamax Network Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Kenneth Ngaruiya as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Mediamax Network Limited effective 22nd January 2021,” said the Board of Directors on Friday.
Mediamax is the holding company for K24 and Kameme TV stations, Milele FM, Msenangu FM, Emoo FM, Mayian FM, Meru FM and the People Daily newspaper. The media house is associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family.
Mr Ngaruiya was appointed acting CEO in June 2019 following the exit of Ian Fernandes.
Prior to his appointment, Mr Ngaruiya served the company for 10 years in various senior leadership roles, including as the Chief Operations Officer.
He is a qualified accountant and a First-Class graduate in Commerce (Accounting) from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. In addition, he also attended Harvard Business School and Cornell University.
“He has close to 20 years’ experience in the Media, Advertising and Manufacturing Industries and has served in various capacities which include; COO Mediamax Network Limited, CFO Mediamax Network Limited, COO Crown Solutions Ltd (Gases) & CFO Red Sky Ltd,” the management added.
Mr Ngaruiya’s term in office as acting CEO was characterised by a standoff with staff over unpaid dues, pay cuts and protracted legal battles over the same.
In June last year, he laid off nearly the entire K24 TV editorial team after the journalists opposed a 50 per cent pay cut the company had imposed on them.
“They let the entire newsroom go, from anchors to reporters to producers to news editors. Only two people who had given their consent to the 50% pay cut. They even laid-off people who had accepted the 50 per cent pay cut,” a source intimated then.
Some of the employees from the station who were fired include news anchors Sam Njoroge, Rose Gakuo, Fred Indimuli, Eric Njoka, Karen Karimi, Isabella Kituri, Nancy Onyancha, Caren Kibett, Shon Osimbo, Sara Adams, Joy Kariuki, Joab Mwaura and Tony Khwalanda.
Betty Kyallo, who hosted popular “Weekend with Betty” show had exited the station a month earlier after taking the station to court over the pay cut proposal. Milele FM also lost comedian and radio host Felix Odiwour alias Jalang’o after the pay dispute.
The board expects Mr Ngaruiya to continue with his strategy to lead Mediamax through a digital transformation of its media platforms to maximise profits.