By Dele Castro
The founders and co-Chief Executive Officers of Jumia Technologies, Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, have both stepped down from their position with immediate effect.
Poignonnec and Hodara were former colleagues at McKinsey & Co who founded Jumia in 2012 with a plan to introduce online retail and trading of goods to African markets.
Following the development, the company said a search for a permanent replacement for the former leaders was underway.
This is as the Africa-focused e-commerce group is struggling with persistent losses and a slumping share price, Bloomberg reported.
According to a statement on Monday, Francis Dufay, who has held various leadership roles at Jumia since 2014, has been appointed as the acting CEO.
In the statement, the Chairman, Jonathan Klein, said the company company is working 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.
Commenting on the Co-founders’ exitKlein said: “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. 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 on our mission of offering a compelling e-commerce platform to consumers, sellers, and the broader Jumia ecosystem in Africa.”
Meanwhile, in a farewell message posted on his LinkedIn page, one of the outgoing CEOs, Sacha Poignonnec, said: The day has come to open a new chapter for Jumia and a new chapter for me. In a way, it’s with a heavy heart because I will miss everything about Jumia, but at the same time every founder needs to pass the flame one day, and I am so grateful for having had a chance to build this great company for the last 11 years. We have achieved so many amazing things, but it will be hard to make an inventory, here is not the place and the time; and there is still so much to do.
“I want to thank all our team members, past and present, for the exceptional values they have consistently displayed. You have given me every day the energy to fight and achieve the sometimes impossible. Together we have created a unique work culture, very human and very strong. Let’s cherish that and continue to nurture it. Strategies change, priorities change, and challenges evolve, but the culture always remains. We are our values.”
“I also want to thank – in no particular order – our sellers, our restaurants, our drivers, our JForce agents, our logistics partners, our suppliers, our board members past and present, and all the other stakeholders who contribute every day to making e-commerce, food delivery and digital payments possible in our 11 countries. We rely on you, you rely on us, we are together in this journey and we win together. Always.
“Jumia is in great hands with the new Management Board, we have been working for years together and we’re confident they will do very well. I will always be a supporter of Jumia and Africa. The best is yet to come.”