Vodafone’s director of mobile money, Michael Joseph (pictured), is set to leave the company by the end of the year to focus on other commitments.

During an interview with Business Daily, Joseph said he reduced his responsibilities at the operator group in December 2016, and would step down from both Vodafone Group and its subsidiary companies by the end of 2017.

In addition to his role overseeing mobile money strategy at group level, he also holds non-executive director roles with Vodacom Group South Africa, Vodacom Mozambique and Vodacom Tanzania.

Joseph was announced as Vodafone Group’s director of mobile money in 2011 after spending 11 years as CEO of Kenya’s Safaricom, a company in which Vodafone holds a 40 per cent stake.

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.

In the interview, the executive said he was leaving the operator to focus on his role as chairman of Kenyan Airways and to “slow down a bit”.

Joseph works in a number of advisory and board roles at a range of companies, and was last week announced as non-executive director of remittance company MFS Africa.