Safaricom tight-lipped on successor as CEO plans exit - Mobile World Live

Safaricom tight-lipped on successor as CEO plans exit

30 APR 2019

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (pictured) expressed a desire to step down for health reasons, Reuters reported, with rumours the operator is under pressure to appoint a Kenyan national as his replacement.

In a statement, Safaricom chairman Nicholas Nganga said the board had “not made a decision” on a successor, adding it has a “robust recruitment process that adheres to global best practice in identifying and appointing our senior leadership team”.

He added Collymore remains in charge of the operator following his quick recovery from illness, which led to the executive taking a number of months of medical leave around the turn of 2018.

In an article yesterday (29 April), Reuters reported Collymore did not want to renew his contact at the operator, but was still in discussions with the board on the issue. It mooted August as the month he would depart.

Sources told the news agency Safaricom’s board had already interviewed for a successor and got as far as selecting a candidate from within Vodafone Group. However, the government reportedly objected to the choice, citing an earlier agreement to appoint a Kenyan as its next boss.     

The revelations come as politicians in Kenya continue their scrutiny of the operator and its leading positions in the country’s communications and mobile money sectors, with some reportedly in favour of forcing the company to split the two.



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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