Java House Names New Chief Executive

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Restaurant chain Java House Africa has named Paul Smith as the new chief executive officer following the exit of Ken Kuguru.

Mr Smith has been at the helm since February when Mr Kuguru left to pursue other interests.

Before moving to Java House, Mr Smith worked as the business adviser at the private equity (PE) firm Abraaj Group, the owners of the coffee chain since last year.

Dubai-based Abraaj acquired Java for an undisclosed sum from PE fund Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) last year.

Mr Smith helped Abraaj to do commercial due diligence on Java while working as a principal consultant for Eagles Spearing Consulting, a firm that specialises in market entry and growth strategy.

He brings to Java a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, having served as the CEO for United Arab Emirates-based Liwa Minor Food and Beverages and vice president for RMA Group’s hospitality division.

He also previously worked at China’s Costa Coffee.

Java last week opened its 56th coffee restaurant at the Ciata Mall on Kiambu Road.

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