By Mourice Seretta
East African Breweries Ltd Group Human Resources Director Ednah Otieno has been appointed Human Resources Director for Diageo in Great Britain.
Ms Otieno becomes the first Kenyan appointed to the role and will take office on 1st July 2021.
“I’m happy and proud to announce that Ednah will be moving to lead the HR role in Diageo in the next three months. Ednah is a consummate professional with an enviable track record, and I’m sure that she’s more than equal to the task ahead of her,” said EABL Group Managing Director Jane Karuku.
At EABL, Ednah is credited with delivering outstanding performance and inspiration, creating a strong succession pipeline, embedding a continuous learning culture and enabling self-directed learning.
“Her passion for inclusion and diversity was instrumental in implementing the parental leave policy that led to 6 month and 1-month maternity and paternity leave, respectively. In addition, Ednah has led the focus on improving gender diversity in the overall population through parity hiring and early career programs,” said Mrs Karuku.
With the Leadership team, Ednah has been instrumental in leading the change in culture towards cross-functional collaboration across different levels whilst ensuring a simple, agile and fully resourced organisation.
“This historic promotion falls in line with our diversity and inclusion agenda that of the Diageo Group. At EABL, we celebrate diversity and strive to create an inclusive culture that enables every individual in the organisation to contribute and grow in an environment where everyone is valued for who they uniquely are. I’m proud that my promotion epitomizes this culture,” said Ms Otieno.
Ednah’s focus on creating fulfilling employee experiences ensured business continuity through the COVID -19 pandemic period by putting health and wellbeing at the heart of conversations and actions and ensuring that employees were fully supported.
Ednah’s promotion comes four and a half months after Mrs Karuku took up office on January 1, 2021 as the first woman Group Managing Director for East African Breweries.
She has a distinguished 18-year career in the Human Resources field, which she started as a Graduate Trainee at East African Breweries Limited (EABL) in 2003. She later moved into different roles within the HR team in Talent, Reward and Shared Services.
Ednah left the company in 2014 as Head of Reward for Diageo Africa to join Airtel Africa as the Head of organisation Effectiveness and Reward.
Ednah later moved to Mars Wrigley East Africa as Head of People & organisation in 2015, which she held until she rejoined Diageo as Group Human Resources Director, EABL, in August 2017.
Ednah is a commercially focused HR Leader, instrumental in shaping a progressive and inclusive culture and as a highly trusted advisor and partner to her colleagues.
“I am sad to see Ednah leave the East Africa team, but at the same time, I am delighted with this move as she will build on her experience to make a difference in Diageo Great Britain,” said Mrs Karuku.