John Musunga takes charge of Diageo Africa’s new business unit

John Musunga has been appointed to head Diageo Africa’s newly formed South, West, and Central Africa (SWC) market, effective January 1st, 2024. Until his appointment, Mr. Musunga led the firm’s Nigerian subsidiary, Guinness Nigeria, since October of last year. He also serves as a non-executive director at East African Breweries Limited (EABL).

As part of a new operating model adopted by Diageo Africa, Mr. Musunga is now set to assume the leadership role at Diageo SWC as the Managing Director, based in London.

Across Africa, the firm has reorganized its operating region into three markets: EABL, which remains unchanged; Guinness Nigeria, marketing beer and mainstream spirits; and the new SWC hub.

Diageo Africa’s President and Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Dayalan Nayager, said Mr. Musunga brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience spanning over two decades across the continent.

He added that in the new Diageo Africa operating model, the newly formed SWC business market will comprise two territories covering Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, and West and Central Africa, including businesses in Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa, Seychelles, among others.

Read also: Bankers caught in the domino effect of the falling shilling

John Musunga entry into Diageo

Mr Musunga said: “Even as I look forward with excitement to my new role as the first Managing Director for Southern, West & Central Africa, I am thrilled for the business of Guinness Nigeria, which I will be leaving in the very capable hands of a strong and committed executive management team, now to be led by (Adebayo Alli) Bayo, a truly exceptional and visionary business leader. I am confident that Bayo and the management team will take the business of Guinness Nigeria to even greater heights in the coming years”.

Mr Musunga joined Diageo in 2021, initially serving as the Managing Director of Kenya Breweries Limited. He has recently navigated the challenges of socio-economic volatility in the Nigerian business.

In October, Guinness Nigeria revealed its strategic decision to halt the importation and distribution of Diageo’s global brands, including Johnnie Walker, starting from April 2024. This shift is aimed at fortifying the company against ongoing challenges in foreign exchange.

As part of this adjustment, Diageo, the owner of Johnnie Walker, stated that it is setting up a new subsidiary dedicated to importing and distributing its range of spirits in the West and Central African market.

Guinness Nigeria faced difficulties in obtaining US dollars to service its foreign-currency-denominated loans in August. Despite efforts by the new Nigerian government to liberalize the forex market and stimulate Africa’s largest economy, challenges in securing foreign currency continue to persist.

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