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Multinational brewer assigns new director for Ethiopian subsidiary
Stephen Nirenstein

Multinational brewer assigns new director for Ethiopian subsidiary

Meta Abo Brewery, a subsidiary of Diageo,a British multinational known for alcoholic beverages,has appointed a new Managing Director for its Ethiopian operation.

Stephen Nirenstein, a veteran employee of almost twenty years,has taken over from Baker Magunda, who was promoted to take over its Nigerian operation, one of the most successful for the company in the continentwhich has shown a promising growthto the tune of almost 19 percent this year.

“I am excited to be in Ethiopia and join the Meta family,” said Stephen, who was previously stationed in Hungary, Ghana, Jamaica and most recently, in Kenya where he was most recently the Financial Controller. “I look forward to growing both our business and our people and for Meta to continue to be a positive contributor to the future growth of Ethiopia”.

The Ugandan native Baker, was seen as a transformative leader when he was appointed to Ethiopia, having worked in Kenya as a successful stalwart of the company and was expected to emulate that success for DIAGEO Ethiopia in the growing local competitive market.

During his tenure, he led the launch of new products, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Kura Malt and Azmera drought beer for the company and the success of its signature products in targeted markets.

Opened in 1967, Meta was sold to DIAGEO at a cost of 225 million USD after winning a heated bid from the likes of Heineken. It has since invested 119 million USD on its expansion. The company is operational in almost 180 countries and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Baker spoke up on the limitation of exportation of local beer markets seeing the shortages of forex and lack of facilities to produces bottles as barriers for its growth, forcing the leading beer companies to import from abroad notably form China and India.

In related news, Bralirwa PLC, makers of Heineken, another multinational brewery competing in Ethiopian market, have appointed MeridDemissie, an Ethiopian nativeas managing director of Heineken subsidiary in Rwanda, effective January, 2019. The LyceeGebremariamalumnus was previously with Heineken Ethiopia andCoca Cola.