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Jumia cofounders step down from executive roles

Jumia cofounders Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec have resigned from their positions as co-CEOs. In their place, the company’s supervisory board appointed Francis Dufay as acting CEO and Antoine Maillet-Mezeray as executive vice president, finance and operations.

In a statement, the ecommerce platform said that the new leaders will steer it towards building even stronger fundamentals by refocusing teams and resources. Additionally, they will aim to reduce operating losses and improve profitability through stronger cost discipline, targeted monetisation initiatives and a more simplified and efficient organisation.

The last part hints at massive layoffs, although the company has not clearly stated that. With the several examples of even more profitable companies towing the path of shedding its weight, it is not a far-fetched assumption. As of 2021, Jumia employs about 5100 people.

Jonathan Klein, chairman of the supervisory board, said that they are still looking for a permanent CEO.

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Dufay has worked at Jumia for eight years, according to a report by The Cable and had served as CEO of Ivory Coast and EVP Africa. Meanwhile, Maillet-Mezeray, has been there for six years and served previously group chief financial officer.

Months ago, there were rumours that the chairman of rivals, Konga, had been eyeing Jumia for an acquisition-merger deal. For now, there has been no development on that front but with the original cofounders stepping down, new deals could be on the table at Jumia again.

For now, the focus of the new Jumia heads is to bring more focus to the core e-commerce business as part of a more simplified and efficient organisation with stronger fundamentals and a clearer path to profitability.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.