Kenya: Vodafone Set to Take Up the Three Key Posts in Safaricom


Experts seconded by UK-based Vodafone will head Safaricom's powerful portfolios of technical/information technology and marketing, it emerged on Thursday, a day after chief executive Bob Collymore unveiled a new management structure but left four positions vacant. In the meantime, however, the positions will be held by locals on an interim basis until Vodafone nominates its people.

The UK-based telecoms company owns 40 per cent of Safaricom, through its local subsidiary. "We redefined chief technical officer role and added more responsibilities," said Collymore in an interview. "Our internal assessment found nobody who measured up to take up the role."

The positions that have yet to be filled are general manager for enterprise, director of technical and information technology, director of marketing and customer service and executive business analyst. Collymore said the positions are demanding at a time when technology is evolving fast and so need someone with a global understanding of changing trends. "Safaricom is growing and adding more new technologies and we need talent to drive this agenda," he said. He said he had Vodafone would send another expert to develop local talent.

On Wednesday Collymore, also seconded by Vodafone, filled a number of top management positions he had created two weeks ago, which saw the exit of John Barorot, the firm's Chief Technical Officer and Robert Mugo, the Chief Information Officer.
"I'm confident that in the next few years we will have a Kenyan heading the technical department," he said.

The new structure, known as Safaricom 2.0, will be supported by a strategy focusing more on customers as opposed to innovations, which the firm has been riding on for the last 10 years. The team is divided into three revenue centres including financial services, consumers and enterprise business. Each department will be responsible for financial performance, as well as accountability of operations.

Under the new structure Peter Arina becomes the General Manager in charge of consumer business, Betty Mwangi General Manager financial services and Chris Tiffin director in charge of financials. Joe Ogutu becomes Director of Resources, Ivor Wekesa, Director Risk Management and Nzioka Waita, Director of Legal, Regulatory.