Extractive and Energy

KenGen appoints first female CEO in history

She becomes the first female CEO at the Nairobi Securities Exchange listed company since it was incorporated in 1954.

Kenya, November 3rd – Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen) has confirmed Mrs. Rebecca Miano as its managing director and Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.

She becomes the first female CEO at the Nairobi Securities Exchange listed company since it was incorporated in 1954.

Making the announcement, KenGen chairman Joshua Choge said they picked Mrs. Miano after she emerged top among 91 applicants, five of whom were shortlisted for an interview by a human resources consulting firm.

Miano has been heading the country’s largest power producer since August 2017 on an acting capacity, after taking over from of Eng. Albert Mugo who retired on August 25.

She joined KenGen in 1998 and has worked in various capacities including senior legal officer.

Miano was KenGen’s company secretary and legal affairs director since 2008, before being recommended to the acting position by the board two months ago.

She was responsible for driving the corporate governance agenda in the company, providing guidance and support to the board and has been the secretary to the board and all its committees.

She worked for Kenya Power & Lighting Company when KenGen was under its management, before it became an independent entity.

Before joining the energy sector, she worked at Musyoka Annan & Company Advocates (Nairobi) and Slater and Gordon (Queensland, Australia).

She holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Nairobi, a diploma in Law (Kenya School of Law) and a Masters’ degree in Comparative Law (University of Australia).

She is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (ICPSK) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), and also holds the decoration of Order of the Grand Warrior.

KenGen is Kenya’s leading electricity producer generating over 80 per cent of energy consumed in the country.

As CEO,  Miano is expected to carry on the campaign of adding power generated from cheap and renewable sources including geothermal and wind, with the firm already in plans to add 720 megawatts to the national grid by 2020 at a cost of Sh240 billion.

This is under the company’s ‘Good-to-Great’ (G2G) strategy.

“We expect the new CEO to progress the work of Eng. Albert Mugo by working with the rest of the team at KenGen to meet the growth and sustain the momentum of the ongoing transformation,” said Choge.

“The board is confident that Mrs. Miano’s skills and wealth of experience, having worked in the company for the past 19 years, will help drive KenGen forward and position it as a leader in the energy sector,” he added.

Under the revamped G2G strategy, KenGen is developing several renewable energy projects including Olkaria V 158MW whose ground breaking was undertaken during the second half of the year, and is expected to be completed by 2019.

Other projects at different stages of procurement are Olkaria I Unit 6, 70MW, Ngong Wind Phase III 10MW, Olkaria VI PPP 140MW, Olkaria I Rehabilitation 50MW, Olkaria I AU and  IV topping plant 40MW, Modular wellheads 50MW, Meru Wind Farm 80MW among others.

Once the projects are completed, the company would be able to increase its earnings and deal with weather challenges faced by hydro power generation during droughts, Miano told a recent investor briefing in Nairobi.

Her predecessor-Mugo’s first three-year tenure in office ended early this year and  was given a one-year extension, effective January 2017.

Under Mugo, KenGen substantially grew electricity generation through geothermal and has overseen the growth of the firm’s installed capacity from about 1200 megawatts when he assumed office, to the current 1 630MW.

KenGen recorded a 34 per cent growth in after tax profit for the financial year ended June 30, 2017, netting Ksh9.1 billion, up from Ksh6.7 billion over the same period last year.

In March 2017, KenGen’s rights issue achieved 100 per cent success following the issuance of the remaining Rights totalling 351 million shares to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa.

The issue raised Ksh2.3 billion which improved its equity base and provided the much-needed headroom to support future growth.

“Congratulations @rebecca miano on your confirmation as MD& CEO, the first female CEO in the history of KenGen,” the company wrote on its official twitter handle.

By Martin Mwita

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