Safaricom banks on tech as it makes key changes


Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa in a past interview. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has reorganised its management team in a move it says will further its goal of being a technology-focused firm.

The telco’s chief executive Peter Ndegwa announced the changes in a memo to staff.

The information technology and network departments have been merged into technology and information organisation and which will be headed by Morten Bangsgaard.

Mr Bangsgaard’s appointment takes effect on January 1, 2021. He has more than 26 years of experience in various technology roles in the telecommunications industry.

He joins Safaricom from Maxis, Malaysia where he held a similar role from February 2014.

Mr Bangsgaard holds a Master’s in Economics and Mathematics from Aarhus University, Denmark.

Safaricom’s chief enterprise business officer Rita Okuthe is leaving the company at the end of this month and will be replaced in an acting capacity by Joseph Wanjohi, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing and has been the head of enterprise sales since 2017.

Ms Okuthe’s exit comes after she was appointed the chairperson of the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and a director of ICDC on August 7.

“To allow her to give more attention to the two appointments, Rita will be leaving Safaricom on November 30, 2020,” Mr Ndegwa said.

Ms Okuthe will continue to serve as a trustee of Safaricom Foundation, the telco’s philanthropic arm.

The home and business fibre businesses have been merged into fixed business and will be led by a director who will be appointed at a later date.

The company has also created a new position, head of productivity, that will be tasked with cutting costs which will free up more resources to be invested in new business lines.

“We have initiated the talent sourcing process for the two roles and successful candidates will be announced in due course,” Mr Ndegwa said.

The changes have been necessitated by the company’s strategic vision which places greater emphasis on the technology, network and fixed internet business.

The company has been investing heavily in internet, information and financial services in search of growth that will also reduce its reliance on the traditional voice and SMS business.

“We recently finalised our organisational strategy articulating the pillars and enablers that will help us transform into a purpose-ed technology company that is customer obsessed,” Mr Ndegwa said.