Ecommerce giant, Jumia, is closing its office in Dubai and moving all top executives to the African countries they oversee, part of a plan to cut losses and redirect the company after its founders and co-CEOs, Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara quit last month.
According to the new acting head Francis Dufay in an interview, “Managers will move to countries in their region, with most going to Morocco, Kenya and Ivory Coast, and the 60-person Dubai office will be disbanded.”
“As we are an Africa-focused company, we want our leaders to be based with customers, vendors and employees,” he added.
Dufay said he’ll double down on Jumia’s “bread-and-butter” e-commerce categories, including fashion, beauty, consumer electronics and appliances. The company will also pause the logistics services it offers third parties in its operating countries except for Morocco, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, he said.
“We have spread ourselves a bit too thin in the past by pushing many projects across our markets,” he said. “We are at a very interesting point in the life of the company, as the board appointed a new leadership more focused on the on-the-ground operations to drive a new plan to lead to a significant improvement on the profitability trajectory.”
Jumia went public on the New York Stock Exchange amid pomp and pageantry but it has been struggling with persistent losses and its shares have dropped 68%. Its third quarter results showed an operating loss of $43.2 million for the three months.
It is now working on a program to turn around the fortunes of the company. Bearing this in mind, Francis Dufay stated: “We have a clear focus for the next chapter of our journey and are taking decisive action to support our path to profitability. We will bring more focus to the business, directing our efforts and resources to projects and activities that deliver tangible value to our consumers, sellers and broader ecosystem participants. We are also enforcing tighter cost discipline and driving efficiencies across the full structure, while enhancing the fundamentals of our core e-commerce business to drive usage growth.”
The company said it will be executing on a clear strategy to accelerate progress towards profitability. The core levers of the strategy are to enhanced focus on the core business, enable stronger cost discipline, ensure profitable usage growth through strengthened e-commerce fundamentals, make use of balanced monetization strategy and Focused JumiaPay development.