By our reporter

The staff of Nation Media Group (NMG) in Kenya, have celebrated the exit of their Chief Executive Officer Joe Muganda who is joining Vivo Energy Kenya next year.

NMG, the biggest media conglomerate in East Africa confirmed the exit of Mr Muganda in a statement on Monday morning.

In a communication to staff, made by NMG Group Chairman Wilfred Kiboro said Muganda who joined the media house in July 2015 will officially leave on January 31 next year. He has been temporarily replaced by the Group’s Finance Director Stephen Gitagama.

Whereas Mr Kiboro said Muganda has during his tenure presided over a business re-engineering strategy to position the company firmly on a digital growth path, staff at NMG in Nairobi were not impressed with his performance and smiles and whispers at Nation Centre were witnessed as the email announcing the news filtered through the corners.

“The guy could not handle news business,” said one of the staff who survived Muganda’s cost cutting efforts in the bid to save the business from ‘sinking’.

He was “Very useless,” she said, explaining that Muganda had nothing to show for his stay at NMG towers save for sacking investigative journalists.

“He never left his office or was never around,” another source said, adding that Muganda “never liked journalists”. “He “said openly we are arrogant”.

The other indictment against Muganda include an accusation that “whenever he couldn’t make money for the shareholders he thought cutting costs by sacking people would work”.

This forced one of the top managers at NMG to complain that “the guy only thinks in terms of beer production and bottles.”

Muganda joined NMG from Kenya Breweries Ltd. where he was the Managing Director. However, he is been judged harshly for failure to understand the newspaper business.

It is “Like he never understood why sausage is more expensive than a newspaper”.

Insiders however foresaw Muganda leaving NMG soon after he told his friends that if he doesn’t turn the company around he would leave.

“I think he looked for another job because this was not his field,” said a well placed source.

The departure of Muganda after that solemn promise is an indicator that NMG is not in good financial shape. NMG is the mother company for NTV, Spark, Monitor, KFM and Dbembe radios.

As NMG CEO, Muganda will be remembered for presiding over a restructuring programme that saw the closure of three radio stations -Nation FM and QFM in Kenya, Rwanda’s KFM – and hybrid television channel, QTV as effected in November last year.

Muganda will join Vivo Energy Kenya on February 1. Although loathed at NMG, Vivo believes he is an asset and the man has worked successfully British American Tobacco (BAT) where he held a number of different roles including General Manager for the Southern Africa Markets, Head of Corporate Affairs, Regional Manager – Africa and the Middle East, and senior marketing and brand roles. Before BAT, he previously worked in Barclays and Unilever.

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