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Friday, August 17, 2007

When The CEO Personally Appears In A Commercial It Usually Means Trouble

All over the world, whenever you see the CEO of a company appear in his own TV commercials, trying to sell products, then you know that all is NOT well. Lee Iacooca appeared in the Chrysler ads when the car maker was in serious trouble and as he attempted to turn it around.

In the latest ads being run by Uchumi Supermarkets (I doubt whether they will cause anybody to have any confidence in Uchumi) the CEO appears himself and even talks. The difference between Chrysler and Uchumi is that the latter does not have any viable turn around strategy apart from wanting to raise more money to help the management team make the same mistakes their predecessors who failed, made. This is probably the clearest sign yet, to the public that all is not well once again at Kenya's oldest supermarket chain.

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In retrospect what went wrong with this turn around effort was that politics was allowed to have an upper hand where very serious commercial, business decisions were required. It is now crystal clear for all to see that the management team in place at Uchumi does not have what it takes to turn around the supermarket chain.

When you think of the poor Kenyans who were forced out of a job and are now suffering, it is easy to get very annoyed at what has taken place at Uchumi. It is a big shame that after all the support that they have received from the government, suppliers and even Kenyans, that this ship has just sunk deeper.

Read my post of two days ago to find out what went wrong.

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