HARARE – British American Tobacco Zimbabwe (BAT) managing director (MD) Clara Mlambo has resigned after three years in the role, according to a statement released by the cigarette maker on Monday.

Mlambo had been with BAT for 21 years. BAT said it had begun the process of appointing a successor for Mlambo, who took over the as MD in 2016, replacing Lovemore Manatsa.

“The board of directors of British American Tobacco Zimbabwe wishes to advise its shareholders that Mrs Clara Mlambo resigned as managing director of the company effective 30 June 2019, said acting company secretary, Stephen Nyabadza.

“The board would like to thank Mrs Mlambo for her valuable contribution to the company during her tenure and wishes her well in her future endeavours. The board further advises that it is in the process of recruiting a replacement for Mrs Mlambo and will advise its shareholders as soon as an appointment has been made,” the statement noted.

Mlambo joined BAT as a management trainee and went on to hold the positions of head of brands, head of trade and marketing manager in Zimbabwe.

She later moved to BAT South Africa on secondment, initially taking the role of cluster manager, grocery division responsible for the Spar, Pick n Pay and Shoprite accounts.

Mlambo was promoted to area head of brands for sub Saharan Africa in 2009 before rising to the position of head of brands for east and central Africa, based in Kenya.

From September 2011 to December 2013, she held the position of head of marketing for the BAT Southern African markets cluster, following which she was appointed managing director of BAT Zambia.

She was then appointed managing director of BAT Zimbabwe in 2016.

BAT’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018 showed that the company’s revenue increased by 16 percent to $42,7 million, from $36,8 million the previous comparable period.

The rise was driven by a strong sales performance and an improvement in the sales mix.

Gross profit increased by 18 percent to $31,4 compared to $26,7 in the prior year, attributed to increased efficiencies in the company’s manufacturing activities.