Ex-Lobels boss joins Innscor

HARARE - Former Lobels chief executive — Ngoni Mazango — has joined rivals Innscor Africa Limited (Innscor) as chief operating officer for its bakery division, Business Live has established.

Mazango, a seasoned executive credited with turning around the fortunes of Lobels, recently left the country’s oldest bread and confectionary company after disagreements over shareholding.

But it appears, just weeks after leaving Lobels, the company’s loss has become Innscor’s gain as Mazango will be directly superintending the operations of the country’s biggest bread maker — Baker’s Inn.

Mazango, who officially assumes his new role in Graniteside next month, was named Megafest 2014 Businessman of the Year.

Sources told Business Live that Mazango did not hesitate to join his ex-employers’ bitter rivals as he felt he had the necessary skills to widen the gap between the two companies.

Innscor’s bakery unit — Baker’s Inn — produces an average 400 000 loaves of bread daily and dominates the market with a reported share of 50 percent.

Lobels, during the time of Mazango, gained significant ground on Baker’s Inn, increasing its production from 30 000 loaves a day in 2012 to the current 240 000 loaves per day.

Against this background, Mazango was due for reward in the form of a 10 percent equity in Lobels but the company’s board opposed this, leading to his exit last month after the bread manufacturer had been acquired by new investors.

Mazango joined Lobels in 2004 before being appointed chief executive in 2012.

His appointment came at a time when Lobels was choking with a $14 million debt but was saved by a consortium of four banks which injected money.

Mazango embarked on an aggressive turnaround strategy which included replacing antiquated equipment and within two years he had produced swashbuckling results.

At one time, he had a spat with his new employers — Innscor — whom he accused of using Lobels corporate colours for their packaging as the bread war between the two companies intensified.

Baker’s Inn has reduced its price of bread to 90 cents while Lobels has maintained its price of $1 although it is no longer selling its bread in Innscor’s Spar outlets.

Comments (2)

Mazango is a visionary, leader, and a strategist who just get things right. I am privileged to have worked under his leadership. I admire his level of business aggression

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