The Standard Group board has sent home the company CEO Sam Shollei for getting deeply involved in politics and conflicting with the objectives of the company.
Shollei dedicated most of his time campaign for his wife who was vying for the post of women representative in Uasin Gishu which she won after trouncing 4 other candidates.
Gladys Shollei surprised many when she won the Jubilee nominations for the seat and even going against the grain and wining the seat despite major campaign onslaught by Kalenjin elders in the county who preferred that a woman from Eldoret South be elected.
With the exit of Sam Shollei, the Standard Media board is definitely going to have a hard time choosing a new CEO as the pool is not wide enough while the major shareholder, Gideon Moi is also known to prefer Kalenjins at the helm.
The other major shareholder, Joshua Kulei is known not to care so much about the day to day runnings of the company.
Some of the possible choices for replacement are Joe Odindo who is the current Managing Editor, Joe Munene (Standard Media Head of Broadcast), Conrad Nkutu (Uganda), Cyril Nabutola, Dr Githinji Gitahi (AMREF), Julius Kipngetich (Uchumi), Tom Mshindi of Nation Media or Wachira Waruru of Royal Media.
While Joe Odindo would have assumed the mantle, various factors might work against his assumption of the top position. He is variously assumed not to have a knack for corporate politics. Many of his peers assume that he can’t effectively navigate the corporate world as well as properly manage systems and processes in and organisation.
Wachira Waruru is another perfect choice but there are strong doubts if he will ever leave his position at Royal Media where he has steered the company to greater heights of profitability. Citizen TV is rumoured to be more profitable than the whole of Standard Group combined. It is widely known that the newspaper division of the group only became profitable in the last few months.
While considering the ethnicity, the owners of Standard Media might go for Kipngetich while Tom Mshindi is the most likely replacement considering his previous performance at the same company. But with the disintegration of the company and mess left behind by Sam Shollei, Tom might not take up the offer.
A source well aware of the situation of at Standard Media said,
“The board realised that they needed a replacement some years ago but couldn’t source the right person. Sam tried to fix a broken organization with a new team that then got drummed out on internal politics, and didn’t have the vision or backing to know how to get it back to functional with the old team.
Sam didn’t understand or seek to grasp systemic solutions. Was just time lost since then and a hugely hard job for even a top notch editorial organization leader. The group needs a root and branch job from a systems oriented content literate obsessive. The company is in a bad shape.”
According to the source, only Dennis Aluanga might be able to fix the mess at Standard Group.
Still, the group might look beyond the media for a turnaround CEO. The likes of Joe Muganda, Linus Gitahi and Wilfred Kiboro also came from outside the media.
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