Crown Beverages Ltd (CBL) commonly known as Pepsi has fired top managers, a move that may either create opportunities for its future growth or come with challenges.
According to credible sources, the management style of Paddy Muramiirah, the CBL Chief Executive Officer has forced out many top managers, who have since been replaced by juniors.
In November 2016, Muramiirah replaced Simon Lugoloobi, who retired after serving the company as CEO for eight years.
However, sources say his retirement was forced after Muramiirah became more powerful than him. From 2008, Muramiirah was deputizing Lugoloobi but was also the head of operations.
Sources say two years ago Pepsi hired a Kenyan Consultant Ephraim Kubai, who was also its CEO in 1980s to review its operations.
Muramiirah was made the head of the team investigating the state of business at (Pepsi).
“Simon [Lugoloobi] at that time was harmless. Paddy was the defecto CEO so Simon was forced out,” the source said.
“The consultant told Pepsi that for it to make money it must go back to the old structure,” the source privy to the affairs in Pepsi said, adding that this meant cutting on the number of employees.
The new structure meant having top management, head of sales, regional managers and service managers as opposed to head of sales, regional managers, area managers and Account Development Representatives (ADV) who would ensure the company gets correct market information.
“Before the new structure, Pepsi had a structure matching that of Coca-Cola. Every distributor had a sales representative,” a source said, adding that this has since ceased.
It is said that 100 sales representatives and 15 area managers were merged into 25 area managers, a move that has left many jobless.
The source revealed that as a result of Muramiirah’s high-handed management style, many senior staff have been fired or forced out under unclear circumstances.
“He (Muramiirah) doesn’t want divergent views. Once you disagree with him just know you are on your way out,” the source said.
Senior Staff Who Have Quit
Innocent Tebayita, the then head of marketing was forced out after a reported misunderstanding with Muramiirah. He was replaced with Jeff Ssekandi in acting capacity but he was also forced out. Brandon Ssemanda is now the Head of Marketing at CBL.
Phiona Kanyike, the head of Procurement and Logistics was also forced out.
Others forced out include Margaret Kamukama, the Head of Quality, Saudha Kayima, the Head of Human Resources, Andrew Kigozi, the Head of Finance, Chris Ngabirana, the Head of Purchasing, Charles Byona, the Head of Sales and Stuart Rugangura, the Capability Manager.
Sources say Consolate Mukadisi is the new Human Resource Manager. They say she is professional and principled. She is reported to be disagreeing with the CEO.
Hilda Mbabazi is the new Head of Finance and sources indicate that she is also professional and has good experience.
Philip Oucor is now the Head of Sales. His qualification isn’t well known, but sources claim he is a primary school teacher.
“He is one of Muramiirah’s blue-eyed boys,” a source claims, adding: “He is already firing Area Managers who are more qualified than him to secure his job.”
Another junior who is now powerful at Pepsi is Hilary Olupot. He is the Head of Compliance, an office reportedly created by Muramiirah.
“Those who are senior and haven’t been fired are living in fear,” the source said, adding the company has failed to come up with ground-breaking innovations in the last one year.
The UEFA Champions League campaign ‘Under the Crown’ started with buzz but has since withered. The prizes being given now are sodas and airtime, sources say.
The source said as a result of cutting on area managers and sales representatives, CBL products are now failing to reach some areas which might see it lose some market share to its competitors.
Efforts to get a comment from Muramiirah were futile as he couldn’t respond to our repeated calls.
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