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Safaricom Appoints an Interim CEO

After the sadden passing of Safaricom CEO; Mr. Robert Collymore on Monday July 1st, 2019 at his Kitisuru home in Nairobi — its board members have appointed an interim CEO.

The board, at a special board meeting of the directors, appointed Mr. Michael Joseph as the interim CEO of Kenya’s biggest telecommunication firm with immediate effect.

Michael also happens to be a former CEO of the company, before being made a board member in 2008.

According to reports, Collymore in May had agreed to serve another year as the CEO of the telco, after the Kenyan government, which owns 35% of the company, insisted that a local was picked to succeed him, this complicating the hiring process.

While the search for the telco’s CEO is still carried on, Michael Joseph will be the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom effective immediately.

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In a press statement, the telco said, “The Board resolved to appoint Mr. Michael Joseph, a Board member of the company, as the interim Chief Executive Officer of the company with immediate effect.”

The statement further states that, Michael will hold the position until the Board communicates in due course on a permanent appointment.

Now recall, that the Kenyan Government strictly wants a local as the CEO of the telecommunication firm.

Meanwhile, the Board said it is confident in Michael, claiming, “he will provide the necessary guidance and leadership to the company and its employees.”

It is worth mentioning that Mr. Collymore was the CEO of Safaricom for nines when he succeeded Mr. Michael Joseph in 2010.

Robert (Bob) Collymore who helped turn Safaricom Plc into East Africa’s most profitable company with an USD$11 billion valuation, died at the age of 61 after a nearly two-year long battle with cancer. Courtesy Photo
Robert (Bob) Collymore who helped turn Safaricom Plc into East Africa’s most profitable company with an USD$11 billion valuation, died at the age of 61 after a nearly two-year long battle with cancer. Courtesy Photo

Reuters yesterday reported that, Safaricom shares fell 2.7% Monday morning before paring the losses to trade 1.4% down in mid-morning.

They further reported that analysts claim, Collymore’s successor will face the threat of regulatory intervention to seek to increase competition in the sector.

“At least in the interim they need someone who will be able to continue the conversation with the government around regulation issues because that is the key risk,” said Mbithe Muema, a financial analyst at Infallible Group in Nairobi.

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