Jumia has announced the appointment of Charles Ballard as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for its Kenyan operations. Ballard’s appointment takes effect immediately. He comes in as the third CEO in less than two years, replacing Juan Seco who is leaving the firm after eight years to join Mukuru as the Chief Growth Officer and MD East Africa. Juan Seco was appointed the CEO of Jumia back in July 2022. He took over the position from Betty Mwangi who had been the CEO since November 2021.
According to Jumia, the new CEO brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He first joined Jumia in 2019 as the Head of Performance and Planning before being promoted to the post of Chief Operating Officer in 2021. In his previous role, Ballard was responsible for overseeing the expansion and deployment of e-commerce activities in the country, which helped Jumia grow its market share in Kenya.
Speaking on his appointment, Ballard expressed his excitement about driving the e-commerce narrative in rural Kenya where more than 70% of the population lives. He sees e-commerce as a solution to the challenges of accessing modern retail in these areas, presenting a great opportunity to grow the online marketplace. E-commerce can bring better prices, more choices, and convenience to rural Kenyans.
Ballard’s illustrious career spans the NGO and retail eco-systems. Prior to joining Jumia, he worked as a retail consultant at Sagaci Research in Kenya from 2015 to 2019 and as the Deputy CFO at ACTED (an international humanitarian NGO) from 2012 to 2015.
Jumia’s appointment of Ballard comes at a time when the company is looking to strengthen its position as the leading e-commerce platform in Kenya. Even with that, the appointment raises questions as to how the ecommerce firm is having difficulties keeping its CEOs. You have to ask why this is so and if there is any trouble within the company.