News and Press

D&S group CEO George Mbugua took the leadership baton from the outgoing CEO David Gatende as Group Chairman Alec Davis looks on during the founders Day celebrations

After much preparation a new D&S era has now begun with David Gatende's retirement at the end-May Founders Day and George Mbugua's accession to the CEO role. The transition was well celebrated during this traditional event and due recognition was given to David's exceptional 36-year career. Both David and George gave excellent addresses and I'm confident that D&S is well set to continue on its successful path.

Founders Day is a long-standing tradition marking the company's establishment in 1946 by my father Eddie Davis and his partner Dick Shirtliff, this year celebrating its 76th anniversary, quite an achievement in the modern era! They established the standards that we apply today and I'm sure they would be very proud if they could see of the fruits of their efforts. This year for the first time since covid we were able to celebrate physically at the new Tatu Distribution Centre though the event was also virtual being broadcast across the Group, a benefit of the communication progress we have made during covid! There are several traditions celebrated at Founders Day including long service awards and retirements and I would particularly like to mention 25-year awards to Margaret Kuchio, Simon Chege and Kynne Kituku now bringing the total number reaching this milestone to 106! Also, as well as David there were several other retirements including Boniface Kimani, the long-serving transport manager with 26 years' service, Wilson Nderitu from ICT with 23 years' service and Simon Batte, the D&S Uganda MD who also achieved the 25 years' service milestone. They've all made considerable contributions during their tenures, and I am very grateful to them for their contributions.

May also marks the end of the first half of the financial year and though progress has been made on many fronts the external challenges have grown considerably, especially due to the ongoing drought and the inflationary and forex pressures contributed by the Ukraine war. With the added disruption that the forthcoming elections will bring the prospects for the next period are muted though I am confident that the D&S established strengths will enable us to continue to make progress as we pursue our purpose to improve people's lives.