Java House picks Priscilla Gathungu as its first Kenyan chief executive

Restaurant chain Java House has picked Priscilla Gathungu as its first Kenyan chief executive. This comed barely a year and a half after Derrick Van Houten who took over in March last year.

However, Ms Gathungu is the third chief executive in under four years.Before joining Java in February 2014, Ms Gathungu was head of human resources – Anglophone Countries – for technology firm Mara Ison. Gathungu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organisation Management and Leadership from Concordia University – St Paul, and Masters in Business Administration from the same institution.

Ms Gathungu has held multiple leadership roles in the group among them serving as the human resources director for six years, commercial director for one and a half years and divisional managing director over the last two years.

“Java House Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Priscilla Gathungu as Group Chief Executive Officer,” Java House Africa posted on its official LinkedIn page.

Java, bought in 2017 by private equity firm Abraaj, plans to grow outlet numbers in Kenya market and expand in East Africa and beyond.

Besides Kenya, Java house has operations in Uganda and Rwanda and has ambitions to open outlets in Dar es Salaam, Lagos, Accra and Lusaka. Additionally,  Java competes with global brands including KFC and Subway, as well as smaller foreign-owned local chains such as Artcaffe—which has also been on an expansion trail fuelled by private equity investors.

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