Carol Koech: The First Black Woman CEO of Schneider Electric East Africa

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Carol Koech:The First Black Woman CEO of Schneider Electric East Africa
Photocredit/Thestandard

By Prudence Minayo

Carol Koech is the current Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Electric East Africa. She has vast experience in the financial and energy world, which is completely opposite to what she studied at the university. After graduating as an engineer, she found herself in the world of finance and has since established herself as a leader in various operations. 

The CEO has also been active in mentoring young ladies in high schools and at work in STEM. She volunteered as a mentor at YALL, Go Green City among others. The career woman has managed to build an outstanding career even while she was also busy raising her family. 

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Here is her career journey as told by WoK

Education

Carol graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Science, Electrical and Electronic from the University of Nairobi. She then became a Certified Public Accountant and went on to graduate with an MBA from Strathmore Business School

Career 

After graduating, she was lucky enough to secure employment without tarmacking for long. She found herself working with KPMG Kenya as an audit assistant. unlike her, most of her colleagues had graduated with a business related course. This would motivate her to pursue a course in CPA. 

After six months with KPMG, she joined Unilever as a Finance Business Partner. Here, she grew her skills and expanded her knowledge. 

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In October 2008, she joined General Electrical as a reporting leader, and in February 2011 became the East Africa Sales Manager at GE Energy Connections. 

In January 2013, she joined GE Power as a distributed power sales and solutions engineer. Her duties included: 

  • Understanding the needs of clients and coming up with solutions for their problems.
  • Evaluating and supporting customers in finding the best financing solutions for their projects 
  • Positioning the distributed power concept to customers
  • Carrying out lifecycle cost evaluation and choosing the best solution 

In January 2015, GE Power made her sales leader- Jenbacher for Sub Saharan Africa. Growing sales and profits for Jenbacher products, carrying out market and business development activities, and understanding the pain points of the customers then finding appropriate solutions were among her duties in this role. In June 2016, she became the senior regional sales manager for Sub Saharan Africa. 

She left GE Power in 2018 to join Schneider Electric as the director of Sustainable development. January the following year, she became the Building Segments Director and in September 2020 began her duties as the country president (CEO), East Africa.

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