Safaric*m appoints new CEO

Thursday, October 24th, 2019 16:14 | By
Peter Ndegwa

Telecommunication giant Safaricom PLC has settled on Peter Ndegwa to take over as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

In a statement on Thursday, the telecommunication market leader picked on the Kenyan from Diageo PL where he served as Managing Director of Diageo Continental Europe.

Ndegwa’s appointment takes effect on April 1, 2020.

In the statement sent to the media, Safaricom said: “Peter bring a wealth of experience in General management, Commercial and Business Strategy, Sales and Finance Operation, having spent 25 years in various roles within the Financial Services and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors in Africa and Europe

“In his current role, Peter oversees the operations of Diageo PLC in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa region. He had previously served for seven years as CEO in Guinness Nigeria PLC and Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC, where he transformed the two operations to deliver double-digit growth by investing in people, introducing new brands and reorganising the business.”

The appointment of Ndegwa brings to an end an intense lobbying that has been in motion for the last two years since former CEO late Bob Collymore announced plans to leave the company in September 2017, a move that was interrupted by ill-health that saw him spend close to one year in a London hospital.

Several insiders and business leaders have been interviewed for the high-demanding job that brings with it demands for the corporate giant, one of the East Africa region’s most profitable outfits.

On Wednesday the company’s founding CEO Michael Joseph who is currently serving in an acting capacity since the death of Collymore announced his extended stay until a new appointment was made, quashing talks about those rumoured to the lined for the lucrative position.

Last week, the Kenya government ceded ground on the appointment of the new CEO, leaving all options to the local board to make the announcement.

Several front runners, including head of business development Sylvia Mulinge and Joseph Ogutu were knocked out of the equation earlier on. No reasons were given by the appointment panel, though it emerged that the board was looking for a ‘DNA’ that only Ndegwa had, including international experience and qualifications.

An insider within Safaricom said yesterday they received emails of the Ndegwa’s appointment Thursday afternoon about the impending announcement that was scheduled for November 1 when they release their half-year results.

“Ndegwa will have time to learn the Safaricom culture of doing things. I wish him the best in his next journey in the management career,” said a director in the Safaricom board yesterday.

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