Jumia co-founders, Jeremy and Sacha resign as co-CEOs

Co-founders of African e-commerce giant, Jumia—Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec—have stepped down from their roles as co-CEOs.

Jumia co-founders, Jeremy and Sacha resign as co-CEOs
Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec

Co-founders of African e-commerce giant, Jumia—Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec—have stepped down from their roles as co-CEOs.

The duo will be replaced by Francis Dufay, who will serve as the acting CEO. Francis joined Jumia in 2014, he has held multiple senior leadership roles, including CEO of Ivory Coast and recently the Executive Vice President for Africa.

Meanwhile, Antoine Maillet-Mezeray who was previously the Group's Chief Financial Officer has been elevated to Executive Vice President, Finance & Operations. "Antoine has been with Jumia for over six years and has played an instrumental role in driving the finance function and further developing it in a public market context," Abdesslam Benzitouni, Jumia's Head of PR and Communications.

According to the company's supervisory board the leadership changes intend to support Jumia's journey towards profitability.

"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," Jonathan Klein, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said.

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Jumia is the only publicly traded African company on the New York Stock Exchange. The company went public in 2019.

In August 2022, Jumia announced its unaudited financial results for Q2 2022 with $57.3million in revenue, representing an increase of 43% from the $40.2million reported in Q2 2021. In the same month, the company said it was past peak losses and would focus on promotions, marketing and cost-cutting in its quest towards profitability, driving its shares up 16% despite a wider quarterly loss.

According to a statement seen by Benjamindada.com, Francis, Antoine and the broader leadership team will work together closely to drive Jumia's strategic priorities and operations with a clear focus on:

  • Building even stronger fundamentals for our e-commerce businesses by refocusing teams and resources on activities and projects delivering the best-added value to consumers, sellers and the broader Jumia ecosystem.
  • Reducing operating losses and setting the business on a clear path to profitability, through stronger cost discipline, targeted monetization initiatives and a more simplified and efficient organization.

"We are proud to have built Jumia, pioneering e-commerce on the continent and creating along the way a unique culture and a great platform in which millions of consumers and thousands of sellers find great value. It is time for us to pass the baton to a new team, we are excited for all that is to come for the business and look forward to cheering the Company on from a new vantage point," Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec said in a joint statement.

The Company will be making select senior management changes with a focus on locating leaders and decision centres closer to consumers and sellers in Africa. In parallel, a search for a permanent CEO is ongoing.

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Recall that in 2014, the other two co-founders of Jumia—Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor—exited the company.