Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

FinTech

Michael Joseph Returns to Lead Safaricom

Article Image
Former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph will be stepping back into the role in an interim capacity after the death of CEO Bob Collymore on Monday morning.

The decision was made at a special board meeting of the Safaricom directors on Monday and Joseph will take up the role of interim CEO with immediate effect.

"Mr. Joseph will hold this position until the board communicates in due course, on a permanent appointment," the Kenyan telecoms operator said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Joseph was Safaricom CEO for ten years before retiring in November 2010, when he handed over the role to Collymore. Joseph is a Safaricom board member and the current chairman of the board of Kenya Airways.

Former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph, seen here on the left during the 'Safaricom at 18' celebration in October 2018, is stepping back into the role in an interim capacity.
Former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph, seen here on the left during the 'Safaricom at 18' celebration in October 2018, is stepping back into the role in an interim capacity.

"The board is confident that during this transition, Mr. Joseph will provide the necessary guidance and leadership to the company and its employees," the statement said.

On Monday the market was shocked by the news that Collymore had lost his battle with cancer at his home in Nairobi in the early hours of the morning. (See Bob Collymore Loses His Battle With Cancer.)

The Guyanese-born British citizen had for several years been battling acute myeloid leukemia and had taken several months of medical leave between October 2017 and July 2018 to receive treatment abroad.

Collymore was expected to step down as CEO later this year but in May 2019 Safaricom extended his contract for another year, to August 2020. (See Collymore Extends His Stay at Safaricom.)

It seemed his health had improved, but Safaricom said that his condition had worsened in recent weeks.

Safaricom, which is 35% owned by the Kenyan government, controls about 63% of Kenya's mobile market, with almost 31.9 million subscribers. South African operator Vodacom also owns 35% of the company, while Britain's Vodafone has a 5% stake.

During his previous tenure as CEO, Joseph steered the company from a subscriber base of less than 20,000 to more than 16.7 million subscribers. M-Pesa, the popular mobile money transfer service, was also launched under his leadership. His achievements during that tenure secured Joseph a place in the Light Reading Hall of Fame earlier this year. (See this video from 4:33 to 6:27.)

Safaricom recently posted a 7.1% year-on-year rise in revenues, and a 10.7% increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), for the year ended March 2019, driven by a 19.2% boost in revenues from M-Pesa services. (See Safaricom Delivers Solid Growth in FY19.)

Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Vodacom Tanzania unveils Digital Accelerator Program winners

Mobile operator Vodacom Tanzania has announced the season three winners of its Digital Accelerator Program.

Story

AI's potential in African agriculture, energy and climate action GSMA

A new GSMA report examines the huge potential for artificial intelligence to support Africa's socio-economic growth in areas including agriculture, energy and climate action.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Leadership Lessons: Networking towards career advancement

By Nollie Maoto

Nollie Maoto, First Rand Group's compliance chief data and analytics officer and Africa Tech Festival Leadership Council member, reflects on the importance of networking for career growth especially for African women in data analytics.

Story

Leadership Lessons: The importance of mentorship for career growth

By Nollie Maoto

Nollie Maoto, First Rand Group's compliance chief data and analytics officer and Africa Tech Festival Leadership Council member, reflects on the importance of mentorship for career growth for African women in data analytics.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Cyber Revolution Summit
August 9, 2024
Gaborone, Botswana
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 12-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Follow us on X

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002