BY FASIKA TADESSE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER
The Board of Directors of Tiret Corporate, an endowment company affiliated to the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), has made a change of guard at its top for the first time since its founding over two decades ago.
Bereket Simon, a veteran leader and founder of ANDM, has been replaced by Ahmed Abitew, minister of Industry, as board chairman of Tiret, a holding company established in 1995 with a registered capital of 26.1 million Br.
Ahmed, who is also a political bureau member of the ANDM, has confirmed his appointment to Fortune.
What transpired the change remains unclear, but Bereket has submitted his resignation last week, which the board of directors accepted, according to sources. However, a formal handover of responsibilities between the two has yet to take place, as there are formalities and processes which need completion before a handover, according to these sources.
Headquartered in Bahir Dar, Tiret was established with contributions in seed money from the ANDM and its 25 founding members, many of whom were prominent during the armed struggle against the Marxist military government.
Following its downfall, assets in ANDM’s hands were transferred to Tiret, which now runs no less than six subsidiary companies involved in the brewery, transport, agriculture, communications, trading, and logistics. Tadesse Kassa, another founding member of the ANDM, serves as Chief Executive Officer (CE0) of Tiret.
Its iconic asset, Dashen Brewery, operates two plants in Gonder and Debre Brehan towns and owned jointly with foreign partners, the British Duet Group, who controls 41pc of the shares. Succeeded to become one of the major brewers in the country, it bottles 769,000 hectolitre beer a year. Although Bereket was the founding chairperson of the Corporation, Tiret directors have decided a couple of years ago that the service of a board chairperson would be limited to a five-year term of only two terms. However, Bereket resigned from his position before his term ended, according to sources.
However, during his tenure, Tiret has expanded drastically both in capital and operations. Recently the company acquired Bahir Dar and Kombolcha textile companies, for 315 million Br and 450 million Br, respectively. The Ministry of Public Enterprises transferred these assets to Tiret, after an executive order from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Bereket, an advisor to the Prime Minister and in charge of Policy Studies & Research Centre, remains to serve as the board chairman of the state-owned giant the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE).
His successor, Ahmed, currently chairs the board of directors of the state policy bank, the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), having succeeded Mekonnen Manyazewal, chief economist in the Prime Minister`s Office. He was the deputy administrator of the Amhara Regional State and head of the region’s Industry & Urban Development Bureau. Since 1992, he has led several bureaus within the Amhara regional state, including the Finance & Economic Development Bureau.