E-commerce platform, Twiga Foods has announced that its CEO, Peter Njonjo, is taking a sabbatical break to focus on personal matters after what the CEO calls “an intense 2023”.
This development comes just days after a Nairobi court gave Twiga Food four months to settle its dispute with cloud services provider, Incentro Africa. Incentro Africa had moved to court seeking the liquidation of Twiga Foods over unpaid debt with Incentro seeking payment of up to KES 39 million. The court is set to hear the case on March 13, 2024.
During Mr. Njonjo’s leave, Laurent Gouault, Twiga’s COO will be leading the company’s operational and commercial functions with Zuber Momoniat, the CFO, leading the finance and legal functions.
While sharing the announcement, the board has also expressed its support for Njonjo’s decision to take the 6-month break. This comes almost two weeks after the B2B supply platform secured new funding of an undisclosed amount from Creadev, Juven, TLcom Capital Partners, and DOB Equity.
“Following the successful capital raise, the board supports Peter’s decision to take a sabbatical and has full confidence in the capabilities of Twiga’s recently bolstered senior leadership team.” Hein Pretorius, Chairman of Twiga, said.
Mr. Peter Njonjo will still serve on the board.
Twiga Foods in 2023
2023 has been an eventful year for Kenya’s most funded e-commerce firm from legal disputes to overdue debts, lack of funding and organizational restructuring. Due to the hard economic times, the company has been taking several measures to be sustainable. This is in effort to be what the former CEO calls a “lean, agile, cost-efficient organisation.”
Mr. Njonjo has previously attributed the lack/reduced funding available to Twiga due to the 2023 “funding winter”. The funding winter has seen fewer funding rounds and even fewer startups get funding as international investors pull back. Consequently, the company had to restructure as part of a plan to cut costs by 40%, explained Mr. Njonjo at a media roundtable in August.
In August, the Agri-Tech company laid off a third of its permanent staff (283 employees) just months after doing away with the internal salesforce team. This adjustment in its sales model would see Twiga Foods opt for several independent sales agents.