Is Rift Valley Railways asking Kenya Airways’ current CEO, Dr. Titus Naikuni to come on board earlier than originally planned? Dr. Naikuni had submitted his resignation with his last day scheduled for October 31.
Usually reliable sources, however, have confirmed that Dr. Titus Naikuni, long-serving CEO of Kenya Airways, will now leave the airline a month earlier than was generally expected and retire on October 31 instead of as was initially expected on November 30.
His chosen successor, Kenya Airways’ COO Mbuvi Ngunze, will, therefore, also take over as new CEO as of November 1, a month earlier than his initial starting date.
Dr. Naikuni who joined Kenya Airways in early 2003 will have been at the helm for a record time of 11 ½ years and under his stewardship has the airline grown in leaps and bounds with a largely expanded fleet and more destinations than ever reached before.
Dr. Naikuni is joining the board of directors of Rift Valley Railways on November 1 as Chairman of the Board though it is not clear if he will hold executive powers in the company, too. RVR is majority owned by Egypt’s Qalaa Holdings, previously known as Citadel Holdings which has bought out Kenya’s Transcentury a few months ago and now, apart from a minority stakeholder from Uganda, controls the company. As reported here on previous occasions, RVR has started to turn its fortunes around with a major investment package in line upgrades, rolling stock and new locomotives, painting a brighter picture in performance terms for the shareholders and also for Uganda and Kenya which have given RVR a long-term concession to run the railway systems. Naikuni’s arrival at RVR has been projected as a major coup for Qalaa, which after the departure of the Transcentury appointed previous chairman required to make a major statement to the markets by appointing the right individual with knowledge and experience in the transport sector.