News and Press

Group CEO David Gatende and Group Chairman Alec Davis with their wives

While I am proud that D&S is a progressive company, this being demonstrated by the consistency of our growth and development, we have continuously evolved rather than dramatically changed, though an unusually significant change will occur at the end of May with the imminent retirement of long serving executive and current CEO David Gatende

David really has been an exceptional colleague joining the company in 1986 as a young sales engineer from his Canadian university and staying with it for 36 years, a career lifetime. In this period he has made an absolutely enormous contribution as the company has evolved from a small closely controlled business to the international institution it is now, being a key driver, innovator and partner on our remarkable journey. He has particularly been an enormous support to me personally as we have worked together in close partnership to build D&S to its present scale.
David has many talents particularly thoroughness, empathy and communication skills as well as a sharp commercial mind and will certainly be missed, but one of life's certainties is change and it is better pre-empted than forced and David leaves D&S well equipped for the future with a strong resource base and an excellent succeeding executive team. Fortunately, he will stay connected with us as a nonexecutive director and we will continue to benefit from his expertise. He will also use his considerable talents and experience in other areas of his interests, especially supporting young businesses and in philanthropic works and I both thank him enormously for his friendship, support and contribution and wish him every success for the future. David's departure has initiated a number of changes to the executive team and I particularly welcome long serving CFO George Mbugua as David's CEO successor. He knows the business well and I'm sure he'll ably fill David's large shoes. Also I'm pleased to announce other changes including Anthony Wangondu's appointment as the new International Business Director responsible for all subsidiaries, the promotion of Henry Davis as Anthony's replacement as Supply Director and the promotion of GM Finance Michael Kanyugi, replacing George Mbugua as Group Chief Finance Officer. They join recent appointees Edward Davis as MD D&S Kenya, David Bolo as GM Dundori Rd, Margaret Kuchio as GM Kenya branches and David Gacheru as GM Talent Management so the company has an almost entirely new executive team that is well equipped to manage the future challenges and opportunities. We also say 'Kwaheri' to long serving MD of D&S Uganda Simon Batte who will be leaving at the end of May. Simon is one of D&S Uganda's first employees and has made a huge contribution in his 25 year career. I'm very grateful for his service and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

We live in tumultuous times and no sooner have we managed Covid we now have to contend with the senseless and tragic Ukraine war. Though obviously terrible for the Ukrainian people, the conflict also has a global dimension and its impact will have repercussions in Africa. Already we are witnessing some shortages and with rising goods costs and a devaluing currency all exacerbated by poor rains the next few months will be challenging. We at D&S will support our customers as best we can but regretfully the reality is continued cost increases and some product shortages. We just pray that some sort of normality soon returns to the world!