African e-commerce giant Jumia has made a change in management as co-founders Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec step down effective today as co-CEOs, according to a statement seen by TechCrunch. Read the article about Interview coceo africankeneokafortechcrunch.
The two founders, who until today shared the chief executive role, have been at the helm of Africa’s only publicly traded company on the NYSE for over a decade, overseeing Jumia’s pan-African expansion across 11 countries as well as its product journey that now includes a marketplace, JumiaPay, its payment arm and a logistics platform.
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Francis Dufay, who previously held the CEO role at one of Jumia’s fledging markets, Ivory Coast, will now replace both co-founders as acting CEO, the company’s Supervisory Board said in the statement. Dufay has been with Jumia since 2014, holding multiple senior leadership roles, more recently, executive VP Africa, responsible for the group’s e-commerce business across the continent.
According to the Supervisory Board, Dufay and Antoine Maillet-Mezeray — previously Jumia’s Group chief financial officer — have been appointed members of the company’s Management Board. Maillet-Mezeray, having stayed with Jumia for over six years and driving the company’s finance function and “further developing it in a public market context,” has earned a promotion too: executive vice president, Finance & Operations.
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“We thank Jeremy and Sacha for their leadership over the last decade to envision and build a company that became the leading pan-African e-commerce player,” Jonathan Klein, chairman of the Supervisory Board, said of the announcement.
“As we look ahead to the next chapter of Jumia’s journey, we want to bring more focus to the core e-commerce business as part of a more simplified and efficient organization with stronger fundamentals and a clearer path to profitability. We look forward to working closely with Francis, Antoine and the leadership team to execute these objectives and continue our mission of offering a compelling e-commerce platform to consumers, sellers and the broader Jumia ecosystem in Africa.”
Dufay and Maillet-Mezeray have their work cut out for them. Under the previous management, Jumia never turned a profitable quarter since it went public in 2019 despite the former co-CEOs consistently mentioning how the company was intentional about its path to profitability during quarterly calls. For instance, last quarter, Poignonnec told TechCrunch that Jumia– projected to have an adjusted EBITDA loss of up to $220 million this year — was progressing on its path to profitability thanks to more consumers placing more orders leading to expanded revenues and disciplined cost control. “We’re going to double down on that to show some meaningful steps toward profitability, which remains the central objective of our strategy,” the co-chief executive said in the August interview.