Oromiya, which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, was plagued by violence for over two years, largely fueled by a sense of political and economic marginalisation among its young population.
Hundreds died in the violence that was triggered in 2015 by demonstrations over land rights, before they broadened into rallies over freedoms that spread to other regions.
“The company’s director died following an attack by unknown gunmen that took place while he was returning to Addis Ababa from the factory alongside two company employees,” a government statement said.
“Security forces are currently pursuing the assailants,” it added. The statement called on residents in the area to help gather details.
Representatives of the company in Nigeria were not immediately available for comment.
It was not immediately clear whether it was the company’s country representative or the plant manager who died in the attack.