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Priscilla Gathungu: The First Kenyan To Be Appointed Java House CEO

Restaurant chain Java House on Wednesday, November 30 announced the appointment of Priscilla Gathungu as its first Kenyan chief executive.

The coffee house announced her appointment in an update on its LinkedIn page following the exit of Van Houten, making Gathungu the third CEO in under four years.

“Java House Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Priscilla Gathungu as Group Chief Executive Officer,” Java House Africa said in a statement.

But just who is Gathungu? Here is what WoK gathered about the new Java House CEO.

Gathungu at Java House

Gathungu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organisation Management and Leadership from Concordia University – St Paul.

The new CEO also has a Masters in Business Administration to her name from the aforementioned institution.

She joined Java House in February 2014 from Anglophone Countries where she served as head of human resources for IT firm Mara Ison.

At Java House, Gathungu has served in the HR department as Human Resources Director for six years and a Divisional Managing Director Foodscape for one and a half years.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, she served as divisional managing director, a position she has held for over the last two years.

Java House

The first Java House branch was founded in 1999 by Kevin Ashley with its first shop situated at Adam’s Arcade along Ngong Road.

As of 2018, the coffee house had over 68 branches across East Africa.

Java House takes pride in inventing the popular Italian pizza chain 360 Degrees Pizza and the first ever East African self-service frozen yoghurt store, Planet Yogurt.

In 2017, Dubai-based Abraaj Group announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the Java House Group for an undisclosed amount.

Abraaj said in an announcement of the deal that the emerging middle class throughout various markets in Sub-Saharan Africa should make the brand poised for additional growth.

“Africa’s rapidly expanding middle class, sustained population growth and increasing urbanization is creating compelling investment opportunities in multiple sectors, and we believe Java House is ideally positioned to benefit from these trends,” Said Abraaj managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood said.