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Jane Karuku: Illustrious Career Of East African Breweries Limited CEO

By Kamau Kariuki

Kenyan women in leadership positions have set the bar high and are proving to be as good as their male peers. The corporate world calls for a firmness and strength of character in order to be successful. The dynamics for women in the corporate world are quite different because of the family aspect and societal expectations. Women build and hold families together and running a successful juggling act between the home and career is no walk in the park. Jane Karuku is one such woman who is at the helm of Kenya Breweries Ltd. She has in the past been named among the wealthiest women in Kenya.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Age and Place of Birth

Jane Karuku was born in 1961. 

Education Background

Jane Karuku is a vastly educated individual attaining admirable heights in academia. She is an Alumna of the University of Nairobi where she pursued Food Science and Technology. She later enrolled for her graduate course in the National University of California pursuing a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing.

Career Journey

She walks with over twenty-five  years in corporate under her belt having spent time in different fields and industries. She has worked in Telecommunications, Non-profits and in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs). Jane has described her purpose in life as “Grow people with energy”. She aims to be of value to the people she serves in her work and in life. Jane Karuku was the MD at Cadbury Schweppes before she went into the telecommunications industry in top administrative roles at Telkom Kenya.

Ms. Karuku serves as president for Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a pursuit of her passion in agribusiness. She sat on the board as a non-executive director at Barclays Bank and East Africa Breweries Limited Group. She was later appointed as Kenya Breweries Limited’s Managing Director. This is a subsidiary of EABL in Kenya.

She has volunteered as Trustee at the United States International University Africa and of a non-profit initiative to support girls who cannot access education. Her service to the Kenyan nation has been impeccable in her leadership of two critical boards – the Kenyan Covid-19 Fund and the Kenya Vision 2030. She was promoted to head the EABL Group in the position of Managing Director beginning on the first of January, 2021. KBL will then be headed by Musunga John. EABL’s board chair Otieno Oduor confirmed her appointment describing her as a reliable and best-fit person for the job at hand.

Personal Life

Jane Karuku has advised women to strike a balance between work and family if that is what they choose. She tells of her story while in the States when she took a break from work for four years to have children and build her family. She names this the best decision she made regarding her career. She has two children, currently aged 28 and 30.

Jane is described by her subordinates and employees as a firm and assertive leader who expects the highest performance from everyone. She has a sharp work ethic and does not condone underperformance. For instance, lateness in attending meetings or appointments results in a monetary fine to encourage punctuality at work. Jane Karuku embodies a whole-rounded individual.

Contacts

Twitter – @JaneKaruku

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