Shoe manufacturer, Bata, has appointed Benson Okumu as the new managing director effective December 1st. He replaces Jeddidah Thotho who served in that capacity since 2019.
This comes even as the reason for Thotho’s exit from the shoe manufacturer remains unclear.
“The board of Bata Kenya wishes to announce the appointment of Benson Okumu as the managing director, Bata Kenya effective December 1st, 2022,” Bata said in a statement.
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Thotho is Bata’s first female managing director since it’s inception over 80 years ago.
After completion of his secondary school education, she flew out of the country for studies at St Mary University in the US.
After graduating, she was hired to sell long-term care insurance for the financial services company, John Hancock.
Thotho later moved to the Chicago area to analyze inventory for fashion clothing for thousands of stores across the US.
This was followed by a promotion to a buyer in the fine jewelry department, specifically gemstones.
In 2010, she returned to Kenya where she worked for Deacon, a fashion consolidator that franchised brands out of South Africa.
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Bata Shoes poached her from that role in 2019 to start as their commercial director leading retail teams to sell shoes through different channels.
“When my bosses put me in this role they were confident in my abilities to perform. Of course, diversity is a big thing now globally and it must have played a role but I don’t think it was to tick a box
“Having the right skills helped and I was here, I was ready and qualified and the moment was right,” Thotho said in a past interview with Business Daily.