Mulinge gets powerful post in Safaricom executives shake up

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, with Ms Sylvia Mulinge
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, with Ms Sylvia Mulinge at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM CEO Bob Collymore has made key changes to his executive team, giving Sylvia Mulinge a new position that will see five business unit heads report to her.

Ms Mulinge, whose appointment as Vodacom Tanzania managing director was dropped after failing to secure a work permit, will now be the Chief Customer Officer (CCO), a newly created role that places all aspects of customer engagement under one office.

“Sylvia will be responsible for leading Safaricom’s customer obsession and will be in charge of consumer business, sales operations, customer care service, brand marketing & experience, digital and market development,” said Mr Collymore in an email to staff sent on Friday, the same day the appointments became effective.

Safaricom on Friday also announced a 20 per cent jump in half-year net profit to Sh31.5 billion.

Mr Collymore has also reorganised the reporting structure in at least seven other roles, cutting the number of people reporting to him directly from 12 to nine.


At the same time, Charles Wanjohi has been confirmed as director consumer business unit, a role Ms Mulinge held until the failed Vodacom appointment. Mr Wanjohi, however, will now report to CCO unlike before when the holder of the role was reporting to the CEO.

According to Mr Collymore, the changes will support the strategic pillars of putting customers first, as was launched three years ago.

“In line with our strategy that guides us to deliver on our purpose, performance ambition and realities of our current and future operating environments, it has become necessary re-organise how we work to create a sharper focus on our customer and align teams strategically to drive better execution,” he said.

Further, the CEO has created the role of Chief Business Development Officer. He said that the role will take charge of innovation, ensuring that the business continues searching for new ways to do business.

The role will comprise of strategy and innovation, regional expansion and knowledge management (research and insights and big data), according to Mr Collymore.

Chief Special projects officer, Joseph Ogutu, will hold the role on an interim basis with the CEO expected to make a substantive appointment this week.

Steve Okeyo, previously a director for regional sales and operations, left the telco in the shake-up having joined Safaricom in April 2016.