Michael Joseph named interim CEO of Safaricom

July 3, 2019 • East Africa, Features, Top Stories

Michael Joseph named interim CEO of Safaricom

Safaricom names Joseph as Interim CEO after Collymore dies. (Image sourced: Xabier Mikel Laburu/Bloomberg)

Safaricom has appointed Michael Joseph as interim CEO after the passing of predecessor, Bob Collymore. Collymore passed away in the early hours of Monday morning after succumbing to a two-year battle with cancer.  

An official document released by Safaricom read, ‘following the passing of [CEO] Bob William Collymore, on 1st July 2019, a special board meeting of Directors the Board resolved to appoint Michael Joseph as the interim Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Joseph will hold the position until the Board communicates in due course on a permanent appointment’.

Joseph was first involved with Safaricom when he, for over a decade, acted as founding CEO — Collymore took over this position in 2010. Since then, Joseph has been an active and critical member of the Safaricom board, as well as chairman of Kenya Airways. 

The newly appointed CEO studied at the University of Cape Town, where he completed a degree in electrical engineering. He then went on to fine-tune his skill for constructing and scaling new networks. Most notably, Joseph initiated Kenya’s most prominent mobile-money platform in 2007. 

This platform, scaled by Collymore, allows millions of Kenyan subscribers to purchase everything from groceries, hail taxies and even air tickets online. 

Joseph notes that he will serve ‘in the position until a substantive CEO is appointed’. There has been no word from the network company about when to expect that announcement. His return, according to Bernard Kairie, regional banking head at African Alliance, is to ‘ensure the ship is stable as they try to transition into new leadership’. 

Bloomberg states that Safaricom shares have dropped by 0.4% since the announcement of Collymore’s passing, on Monday at 13h00. 

By Jenna Cook

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