Twiga Foods CEO and Co-Founder, Peter Njonjo, has bid farewell to Twiga Foods, stepping down from the firm’s board a month after resigning as CEO.
Njonjo, who founded Twiga Foods in 2013, guiding it to become one of Kenya’s prominent agri-tech firms, has overseen its growth until 2023 when he decided to step down. The announcement of his resignation came after a six-month sabbatical leave, during which, upon deep reflection, he thinks “there is little value he can add to its current transition.”
In his resignation letter, Njonjo revealed his belief that a transition in leadership was necessary, and with a sense of pride, he highlighted the significant achievements made during his tenure. The operational reins of the company have now passed into the hands of foreign shareholders, Creadev and Juven, who played a pivotal role by investing USD 35 million(5.5 billion), aiding Twiga in settling debts with vendors.
The news of Njonjo’s departure was first made public on December 14, immediately after he successfully led Twiga to secure a substantial funding round of $35 million (Sh5.5 billion). This added to the cumulative capital of $160 million (Sh25.1 billion at current exchange rates) raised since the company’s inception.
Under Njonjo’s leadership, Twiga Foods secured over $100 million in funding from various investors, including renowned names such as Goldman Sachs, IFC, TLcom Capital, and Creadev. The company expanded its operations to 12 cities in Kenya and ventured into Uganda in 2023.
Njonjo’s resignation coincides with a challenging period for Twiga, which has grappled with persistent financial difficulties. The company has faced various hurdles, including employee layoffs, deferred payments owed to suppliers, and delayed salaries for workers. These challenges compelled Twiga to implement a substantial 40 percent reduction in its headcount last year. Despite the financial challenges faced by Twiga.
Njonjo said he had agreed to work through a six-month transition at the board’s request after his initial “resignation” to allow the board to recruit a new CEO.
“I am proud of what we have achieved together with the amazing team at Twiga, our farmers, vendors, suppliers, partners and investors. Twiga Foods has grown from a small start-up to a leading B2B e-commerce platform in Africa, providing affordable access to high quality foods, products and retail services to millions of consumers,” he wrote.
In a statement to Business Daily, Njonjo conveyed his strong faith in the current board and management team, expressing his desire to remain a supportive shareholder. He clarified that, having invested $1 million in the recent funding round led by Juven and Creadev, he remains deeply interested in the company’s success.
“I founded the company, so I will always have a strong interest in the success of the business. Twiga just closed a significant round of financing, which I also invested in, and coupled with its significant institutional capability, this puts the organization in a very strong position. This also allows me to focus on other opportunities that will consume a significant amount of my time in the short to medium term,” he said.