MILESTONE: Brenda Mbathi

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American multinational conglomerate, General Electric, has appointed Brenda Mbathi as the new chief executive officer for East Africa as Allan Kilavuka who was the head of global operations in Africa exits to join Jambojet. Some changes at the top can be frustrating but the value of this one is that it makes you a vital industry force.

Prior to being appointed the new CEO, Ms Mbathi served as the executive director for government affairs and policy for Eastern Africa since 2015. She boasts of more than 27 years of experience in government affairs, corporate social responsibility as well as corporate relations. She is expected to play a pivotal role in steering the next phase of strategy and growth for General Electric in East African markets, excluding Ethiopia which will continue to be led by Daniel Hailu, CEO, GE Ethiopia.

Before joining the multinational, she was an employee of East African Breweries for over 13 years as group corporate relations director. She has also worked for Farmer’s Choice (for about 11 years), gradually rising to the role of director of sales and marketing.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations & Geography from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts. Apart from being a member of the Board of Governors of MPESA Foundation Academy as well as a board member of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, she leads GE Volunteer network across Africa and GE Women’s Network in East Africa.

According to Farid Fezoua, President and CEO, General Electric Africa, the company is optimistic about East Africa and the opportunities to develop break through solutions in power, healthcare and aviation. Fezoua says: “We are glad to bring on board a great female leader, with the experience and passion required to drive our growth in this region. This appointment is a testament to our localization and diversity & inclusion strategy for the region.”