Twiga Foods CEO resigns from company's board shortly after announcing a six-month sabbatical

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January 5, 2024
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2 min read
Twiga Foods' CEO, Petr Njonjo
Twiga Foods' CEO, Peter Njonjo; Image Source: Bizna Kenya
  • Peter Njonjo, the CEO and co-founder of Twiga Foods, has resigned from the company's board of directors, citing his limited capacity to further contribute "very little value" to the company. 
  • This news comes a month after the Kenyan B2B eCommerce company announced that Njonjo would take a 6-month sabbatical to focus on personal matters after he described the year as “an intense 2023.”
  • In December, the company disclosed that Twiga's COO, Laurent Gouault, will oversee operations and business, while Zuber Momoniat (CFO) will handle finance and legal duties.

This move seems to corroborate earlier rumours that Njonjo was let go as CEO in 2023.

Njonjo and Grant Brooke (former CEO and co-founder) launched Twiga in 2014. At the time, Brooke was the CEO.

However, in January 2020, Brooke announced that he would be stepping down from his executive director role but would remain on the company’s board of directors.

Nonetheless, in 2019, before the announcement, he had already stepped down and handed over the role to Njonjo.

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Per Brooke, “I’ve stuck around to help in that transition as much as possible. I think we’ve reached a point where my not being present won’t cause any disruption. I’m so thankful we’ve been able to do this on the best of terms.”

Before handing over the position to Peter Njonjo, the company specialised in agricultural products and connected farmers' produce to markets more successfully. 

However, after becoming CEO, Njonjo, the former non-executive director, established a B2B supply chain for FMCG and other consumer goods. Besides, in May 2022, the B2B eCommerce food distribution platform announced the launch of a new subsidiary, Twiga Fresh, through which it farms and distributes its agricultural produce to traders.

Nevertheless, Twiga has encountered financial challenges since 2023. In December, a Kenyan court gave the company four months to resolve its dispute over unpaid bills with cloud services provider Incentro Africa.

Incentro alleged Twiga owes $450,000, including a delayed bonus from Google, while Twiga contended the amount is $94,000.

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Twiga's financial difficulties during its transition from rapid expansion to profitability resulted in missed monthly payments on a three-year, $3 million contract for Google cloud services mediated by Incentro.

In October 2023, the Google cloud reseller's attempt to sell Twiga Foods for an alleged KSh39 million ($261,878) debt failed due to temporary orders obtained by Twiga Foods, which prevented Incentro from moving forward with the liquidation plan.

Moreover, in August 2023, the company reduced its headcount by about 283 staff — one-third — of its 850 permanent employees due to challenging market conditions.

December 2023 saw the company announce the close of a $35 million funding round in which Creadev and Juven participated. The funding allowed Twiga to clear its debts.

What's more, Njonjo states that following his original "resignation," he had consented to work through a six-month transition at the board's request so that the board could hire a new CEO.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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