The board of British American Tobacco (BAT) has Rita Kavashe as the new chairperson. She will replace George Maina who has served as director and chairperson of the company for nine years.  The appointment is effective as from  1st September 2020 and is for a period of 3 years.

Ms. Kavashe is currently the managing director of Isuzu East Africa Limited (formerly GM East Africa), the largest motor vehicle assembler in East Africa. She joined General Motors in 1995 and has held several key roles in sales and marketing, both in Kenya and South Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Moi University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nairobi.

Other than BAT, 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.

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

BAT Kenya Managing Director, Mrs. Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo, had this to say, “Rita’s appointment marks the first time in BAT Kenya’s history that it has had a woman chairing the Board. It means that we now have 40% female representation on the Board – a significant step in furthering the Company’s Gender diversity agenda, following BAT’s adoption of the UN Global Compact in 2019.”