Safaricom PLC has on Wednesday market the start of new leadership as the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa took charge.
Mr. Ndegwa becomes the first Kenyan to take over from the telco CEO Michael Joseph.
Joseph took over the company in an acting capacity in July 2019, following the death of former CEO Bob Collymore.
Mr. Ndegwa was appointed by Safaricom board of directors in October 2019, with his term scheduled to commence today (April 1, 2020).
He joins Safaricom from Diageo PLC, where he was the managing director of Diageo Continental Europe.
According to the telco’s board, Ndegwa brings a wealth of experience in general management, commercial and business strategy, and sales and finance operations, having spent more than 25 years in various roles within the financial services and fast-moving consumer goods sectors in Africa and Europe.
“We are confident that Peter will carry on our vision of transforming lives while keeping us focused on meeting our customers’ needs and holding us to our new commitment of being simple, transparent and honest,” board chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a said.
Joseph said on Tuesday that Ndegwa would be assuming his new role today despite being in self-quarantine, having come into the country from Tanzania.
He has been participating in Safaricom’s meetings and engaging the board for the last two months ahead of his official duties.
“I will be with him for the next few months guiding him through. It is a slow process, but he understands the company well,” said the outgoing CEO.
The firm yesterday bounced back to its over Sh1 trillion market capitalization on the NSE as investors anticipated the change of guard.
It had moved 13.08 million shares valued at Sh1.06 trillion by 2pm, with share price strengthening towards Sh26.50 from Sh26 on Monday, an indication that investors were upbeat about the firm’s first native Kenyan CEO.
Safaricom is 35 per cent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, with the Kenyan government enjoying a 35 per cent stake. Twenty-five per cent is traded at the NSE, while Vodafone Group has a five per cent stake.