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Robert Muriithi Ndegwa Named

Kenya Tourism Board appoints new CEO

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Ambassador  Sep 18, 2009

After a thorough search for a new chief executive, the Minister of Tourism Hon. Najib Balala, appointed Mr. Robert Muriithi Ndegwa to the position today.
Mr. Ndegwa emerged as frontrunner after an extensive vetting exercise by the board of directors of KTB, which initially whittled down the more than 130 applications to a shortlist of 16, before again reducing it to a final shortlist of 8 applicants. Additional interviews then had Mr. Ndegwa emerging as a clear frontrunner before the board made its recommendations to the Minister, since the final decision is a ministerial prerogative.

It is noted that Hon. Balala took the advice given by the board and appointed the best candidate, which speaks for the excellent working relationship between the board, led by tourism guru Jake Grieves Cook, and the Ministry of Tourism. This is still not the norm in such appointments but for sure an example to follow for other ministerial appointments in the tourism industry in the east African region. It also speaks for the professional manner in which the board of directors conducted the search for a new CEO, which is a credit to all the board members involved in the search and selection process.

Mr. Ndegwa comes from his previous position as managing director of East African Cables, holds a master's degree in business administration, and has a strong background in marketing and public relations, a key ingredient in running Kenya's tourism marketing organization.

Minister Balala said upon making his decision public: "With his qualifications, skills, and experience, I have considered Mr. Ndegwa as the most suitable [applicant] for the position as managing director of the Kenya Tourism Board. I hereby congratulate him as he takes up a most challenging undertaking of repositioning this country in the global tourism arena."

Mr. Ndegwa is 46 years old and has held previous senior management positions in such well-known companies like Magadi Soda, Firestone EA, Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, and most recently as CEO of East African Cables TZ, whose fortunes he turned around over the past several years since taking charge.
Mr. Ndegwa's predecessor, Dr. Achieng, was forced from his job over controversial and unauthorized procurements and is now in court, together with the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, facing criminal charges. The KTB board of directors has been searching for a replacement since March this year.

Congratulations to Robert on his appointment and all the best in coming months and years at the helm of the Kenya Tourism Board.

Kenya Tourism Board appoints new CEO
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