Safaricom named Michael Joseph (pictured) as its interim CEO, following the death of long-time chief executive Bob Collymore yesterday (1 July), Bloomberg reported.
Joseph is currently a member of Safaricom’s board and chairman of Kenya Airways. Perhaps crucially, he was also the operator’s CEO until 2010, when Collymore took the helm, suggesting the company is seeking to steady the ship while it seeks a permanent successor.
Under his watch Safaricom launched and pushed forward the development of m-Pesa and the associated payments ecosystem across the country. It is widely considered the first successful mobile money platform in the world and is still held up as an example of the positive economic impacts mobile commerce services can deliver.
Joseph’s role in m-Pesa led him to be dubbed the father of mobile money.
There was no update on how long the process of finding a permanent replacement for Collymore will take. In a telephone interview, Joseph told Bloomberg only that he would hold the position “until a substantive CEO is appointed”.
Collymore passed away at the age of 61 following a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia. After taking time off for treatment at the start of 2018 he was expected to stand down in August, but In May extended his tenure until 2020.
At the time, reports stated Safaricom had struggled to find a successor, with its board at odds with Kenya’s government over the matter.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back