Chief Operating Officer

Zola Electric Amsterdam Netherlands Other

Company Description

Uncover hidden opportunities to make a global impact. Zola Electric is a growth-stage start up that’s on track to light a million homes in Africa over the next couple of years with clean, affordable solar energyAt the heart of our business is innovative solutions that delight our customers. We are looking for a Chief Operating Officer to support our growth strategy in Africa.

This may be your dream job if you’re someone who dreams of combining your knowledge and skills enabling Zola Electric to change the renewable energy landscape. You’ll also need to be passionate about bringing solar energy to off-grid and other underserved markets —billions of people around the world (with the unique social, technical, and business challenges that come along with it). You are inspired by the opportunity to unleash whole continents of human potential, and motivated to help build a truly epic business.

Zola Electric, through its consumer brand Zola, combines Silicon Valley technology with local expertise to offer African homes and businesses a long-term solar solution to an unreliable grid. Adaptable to both energy needs and income, Zola Electric’s solution can be bought over time through a leasing structure. The first few watts starts a chain reaction that enables people to achieve commonly held aspirations: security, education, access to information, and a longer and more efficient day.

Today, Zola Electric powers more than 100,000 homes and businesses across Tanzania, Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire. Zola Electric’s investors include: SolarCity, Vulcan Capital, DBL Partners, The Packard Foundation, Helios Investment Partners, and responsibility. Zola Electric is the recipient of the 2016 UN Momentum for Change Award, Zayed Future Energy Prize, and the 2015 Global Cleantech 100. For more information, visit


Off Grid Electric is seeking a Chief Operating Officer. Reporting directly to the CEO, the role will provide strategic leadership across the Group and will be responsible for the development and oversight of all country Managing Directors. The COO will architect and implement long-range operating objectives, strategies, and initiatives focused on commercial functions, the supply chain, and IT. Key Responsibilities of this position includes:

  • Alongside co-CEO, architect strategy, and lead implementation across the operating entities
  • Drive the company to achieve and surpass business goals and objectives for sales, profitability, and cash flow
  • Spearhead the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes.
  • Design LEAN systems, processes and support structures to accommodate the growth and profitability objectives of the company.
  • Motivate and lead high performance country leadership (MDs) by providing oversight and mentorship, including setting business strategy, reporting and planning.
  • Advise and functionally mentor the Country Operating Head on key business matters
  • Foster a success-oriented, accountable environment within the company Country Operations
  • Attract, develop and retain required members of the COO office, functional domain experts providing strategic and execution support to country operating companies.
  • Architect and ensure proper operating company reporting and communications. 
  • Own and provide leadership, and frameworks to manage the Group Occupational health, safety and Environmental approach


  • Master’s Degree. Process Engineering degree is desired but nor essential
  • 15 years of cross functional, general management experience covering multiple countries in Africa.
  • Experience and strong knowledge across operation intensive functions - including sales, service and supply chain.
  • Solid analytical skills and financial modelling skills
  • Strong process architecture, LEAN process implementation and improvement experience, and change management capabilities
  • Experience in implementing Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality systems
  • Strong knowledge and/or proven experience in imparting lean six sigma culture throughout the organization. Relevant certifications (Green/Black Belts) are advantageous.
  • Strong people management and stake holder management skills are essential to fulfill responsibilities of this role
  • Experience in top tier FMCG, Telecom, consumer or commercial product companies will be a definitive advantage
  • Leadership skills and strong business acumen
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Planning, organizing and problem-solving skills
  • Financial acumen and data driven personality
  • Meticulous attention to details and quality in everything he/she does

Other information

We are looking to fill this position in either Amsterdam, Tanzania, Nigeria. Are you interested in this position and join our team in Tanzania, let’s connect and send your resume via our company career site. Applications that include a resume / curriculum vitae have preference.


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Data Privacy Notice
Zola Electric believes strongly in protecting the privacy of the personal data you provide to us. We also believe it is important to inform you about how we will use your personal data. This document explains how we may process your personal data and the rights you have in this respect. Therefore, we encourage you to read this Privacy Notice carefully.

Scope of this Privacy Notice
This Privacy Notice applies to all personal data of applicants processed by Zola Electric in connection with our recruitment process.

About Zola Electric’s recruitment process
You may apply for a position within Zola Electric anywhere in the world via our online recruitment application system. By means of this recruitment system you may create a profile and apply for a specific vacancy. Via the use of this application and submission of related information, you may provide personal data to Zola Electric in connection with the recruiting process. We may process personal data for recruitment purposes including organizing selection procedures and manage applications.

Type of data we collect
When you interact with Zola Electric in connection with the recruitment process, we may ask or receive certain personal data, including, but not limited to:

  • Personal data allowing identification of the candidate and practical organization: first name, surname, address and country of residence, email address, telephone number.
  • Personal data allowing the verification of the eligibility and selection criteria as laid down in the vacancy notices: education and training (diploma awarded), professional experience (job title, length, company name, company type and web address of company (optional), main tasks and responsibilities), linguistic and job related skills and competencies and areas of interest.

  • As well, in some countries, including US, we may ask for information such as gender, race and ethnicity for the purposes of monitoring equal opportunity.

Third parties
Your personal data will be processed and stored by a Zola Electric trusted third party partner, Cezanne HR. Cezanne HR is involved in providing and facilitating the recruitment process, such as website hosting, data analysis, information technology and related infrastructure provision, customer service, email delivery, auditing and other services. Any other disclosures to third parties will only be made when required by law. Cezanne HR is a configurable, cost-effective and GDPR-compliant human resource software system.

Zola Electric required Cezanne HR to provide a comparable level of protection to your personal data as Zola Electric provides, to keep your personal data confidential, to only process your personal data for the purposes for which it was disclosed and to only access the minimum amount of data they need to deliver a specific services related to the recruitment process.

Your personal data may be processed and transferred to countries outside of your country or jurisdiction during the recruitment process. These countries or jurisdictions may not have similar data protection laws. If Zola Electric transfers your data, we will take steps to protect your privacy rights through the use of contractual arrangements or other means, which will provide a comparable level of protection.

Data Retention
Zola Electric will take reasonable steps to ensure that we retain your personal data only for so long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected, or as required under any contract or by applicable law.

Data Security
Zola Electric recognizes its responsibility to protect the information you entrust to us. Zola Electric maintains, and requires its third party, Cezanne HR, to maintain, technical and organizational measures to protect your data.

Your rights
Once you have provided us with your personal data, you will be able to access this information. If you would like to exercise your rights, such as to access, review, correct, update or erase personal data, please contact us at: For your protection, we may need to verify your identity before responding to your request.

Changes to this Privacy Notice
This Privacy Notice may change from time to time. The most current version of the Privacy Notice will always appear on the site. The most recent version shall supersede any and all other versions of this Privacy Notice. Zola Electric reserves the right to change or modify this Privacy Notice at any time and at its sole discretion by posting revisions. Therefore, we encourage you to check back often to learn about those changes.

Contact us
We strongly believe in protecting the privacy of the personal data you share with us. Please contact us if you have any questions, complaints or suggestions about this Privacy Notice at:


Gert Jan van Sluis

Director Human Capital
Zola Electric

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