Top 25 Most Impactful Chairs of Boards 2024

Under his adept guidance, EABL not only upholds its status as a trailblazer in the region’s beverage industry but also takes pride in contributing about 1 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), showcasing a commitment to both economic growth and sustainability.




Dr. Martin Oduor-Otieno, current Group Chair of the Board of East African Breweries (EABL), radiates sophistication and stature, standing tall with an air of elegance. His leadership style, characterised by competence, courtesy, and conscientiousness, marks him as a distinguished thought leader.

At the helm of the board of EABL, Dr. Oduor-Otieno’s leadership qualities traverse personal traits, significantly influencing the corporate landscape. He is renowned for asking more than he tells, prioritising active listening over speaking, and avoiding shortcuts in favour of thorough decision-making. These attributes position him as a sought-after figure for major responsibilities.

Dr. Oduor-Otieno’s chairmanship shines through in his oversight of EABL’s ambitious 10-year sustainability strategy, aptly dubbed ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’. This visionary approach seamlessly integrates business sustainability, the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), and outstanding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices.

Under his adept guidance, EABL not only upholds its status as a trailblazer in the region’s beverage industry but also takes pride in contributing about 1 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), showcasing a commitment to both economic growth and sustainability.

Dr. Oduor-Otieno commenced his career at Ernst & Young (EY) before making significant contributions at British American Tobacco (BAT) and Barclays Bank (now Absa Bank), marking a trajectory of success.

In 1999, he was appointed as Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Finance and The Treasury, part of President Daniel arap Moi’s Dream Team entrusted to ‘turn the economy around’. During his tenure, Dr. Oduor-Otieno played a central role in restoring Kenya’s ties with the Bretton Woods Institutions, i.e. the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He spearheaded a cultural transformation and in less than two years, the ministry achieved significant milestones, including the formulation of the World Bank-supported Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) – groundbreaking policy planning documents at the time.

After his transformative tenure at the Treasury, Dr. Oduor-Otieno returned to Barclays Bank, holding senior positions in both Kenya and South Africa, before joining Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). At KCB, he initially served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for one and a half years, and then ascended to the role of CEO. In this capacity, he spearheaded the expansion of the bank’s operations to South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in rapid succession, in addition to revamping the Tanzania business and driving the Group’s growth strategy to be the leading bank in the region.

Subsequently, Dr. Oduor-Otieno transitioned to Deloitte East Africa, assuming the position of Senior Advisor in the financial services division.

Dr. Oduor-Otieno has an extensive history of board service, including roles as Chair of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), KCA University, and non-executive director at Kenya Airways (KQ) and the SOS Children’s Villages International Senate and Kenya board. Presently, he continues to bring his expertise to the boards of Standard Bank Group and Standard Bank of South Africa, and BAT.

In 2016, Dr. Oduor-Otieno established the Leadership Group, offering executive coaching, consultancy, and training in leadership, governance, and strategy development and execution. Currently, he serves as a Business Advisor and Accredited Executive Coach at the firm.

Additionally, in January 2020, he was appointed President of the International Coach Federation (ICF) Kenya Charter Chapter, a role he held until December of the same year. During his tenure, he worked towards the vision of integrating coaching into a thriving society, emphasising that every ICF member represents the pinnacle of professional coaching quality.

Dr. Oduor-Otieno holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree in accounting from the University of Nairobi (UoN) and an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) jointly awarded by the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) and the Maastricht Business School in the Netherlands. He attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in the United States (US). In acknowledgment of his substantial contributions as Chair during its early stages, KCA University conferred upon him an Honorary Doctorate in Business Leadership (Honoris Causa). In gratitude, the university named its cutting-edge library in his honour.

Dr. Oduor-Otieno has been an adjunct faculty member of the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications, as well as the Strathmore University Business School.

On the national stage, Dr. Oduor-Otieno was honoured with the first-class Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) award by President Mwai Kibaki, recognising his substantial contributions to national development.

In his professional capacity, Dr. Oduor-Otieno is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (FCPA), Fellow of the Institute of Certified Secretaries (FCS), Fellow of the Kenya Institute of Bankers (FKIB), and Fellow of the Institute of Directors of Kenya (FIoDK). Additionally, he has earned the credential of Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from ICF.

Devout in his Roman Catholic faith, Dr. Oduor-Otieno is happily married and blessed with children and grandchildren. In 2012, he published his biography, ‘Beyond the Shadows of my Dream’, offering readers a glimpse into the extraordinary journey of his life. The biography has been updated and reprinted in 2022 and is available through his office at The Leadership Group (


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

Related Posts

Top 25 Most Impactful Chairs of Boards 2024

Simultaneously, as Chair and Director of I&M Capital, a fund manager regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Daniel oversees the implementation of various wealth management and advisory services (WMAS). This subsidiary, like I&M Bank, is under the umbrella of I&M Group PLC.

Top 25 Most Impactful Chairs of Boards 2024

In 2021, Dr. Mwangi took on the leadership position as Chair of The Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI), following a decade of dedicated service in various capacities, including Board Member, Honorary Treasurer, and Executive Secretary.