Kenya: Safaricom clarifies reports on CEO exit

3 May 2019

Telecoms

Safaricom has denied media reports on the succession of its Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore said to be stepping down in August, this year.

The telco said it has not made a decision on the matter and has in place a robust recruitment process that adheres to global best practice in identifying and appointing the senior leadership team.

Earlier reports indicated that the head of Safaricom plans to step down in August for health reasons, but the government’s insistence he should be succeeded by a Kenyan has delayed announcing a replacement.

Collymore took a nine-month medical leave in late 2017 to return to England to battle cancer, and has now indicated he wants to step down, sources told Reuters.

“He wants to concentrate on his health so he did not wish to renew his contract,” said one of them, speaking on condition of anonymity as there has been no official announcement.

“Our attention has been drawn to a story regarding the position of Chief Executive Officer at Safaricom PLC,” said Nicholas Nganga, Safaricom Chairman

“I would like to state that the Safaricom PLC Board has not made a decision on the matter. This will be subject of deliberation by the Board and once a decision is made it will be communicated at the appropriate time.”

He added that the Board has in place a robust recruitment process that adheres to global best practice in identifying and appointing our senior leadership team.

“The Board is encouraged by the quick recovery of Bob Collymore who remains firmly in charge and is doing a great job of leading our company.”

Safaricom, which is 35 percent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, controls about 62 percent of Kenya’s mobile market, with 30 million subscribers. Britain’s Vodafone has a 5 percent stake and the Kenyan government 35 percent.

Private investors also own shares via the Nairobi bourse.

Source: The Standard