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Safaricom names Michael Joseph as chairman, long-serving Ng'ang'a retires

Acting Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph (left) and
Acting Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph (left) and Board chairman Nicholas Ng'ang'a during an investor briefing of half-year results on November 1, 2019. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has appointed Michael Joseph as the firm’s chairman following the retirement of Nicholas Ng'ang'a, who has been at the helm for 13 years.

In a statement on Thursday, the telco's chief executive officer Peter Ndegwa said the appointment takes effect on August 1, 2020.

Mr Joseph, who is also the Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ chairman, is a former Safaricom CEO.

Mr Ng'ang'a has been the chairman of the Safaricom board since January 2007, having joined the board in May 2004 as a non-executive director.

He is credited with steering the giant telecom through various milestones among them the rapid network development in the country, diversity and inclusion at the telco, and growing the company's fortunes.

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"Mr Ng'ang'a took up the leadership reins at a time when the government was starting the process of offering 25 percent of its shares to the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange #ticker:NSE in 2008. He has managed to grow shareholder value by 607 percent since listing," said Mr Ndegwa.

"At the time of his appointment as chairman, Safaricom had slightly over six million customers, 1,000 employees and only eight Safaricom shops across the country. Mr Ng'ang'a retires from the telco that now serves over 35.6 million customers, across 50 shops and hundreds of service desks across the country, with a staff force of over 6,500 employees," he added.

TRANSITION

The changes mark a return to the fold of Safaricom's top management for Michael Joseph who has served as a non-executive board member since September 2008.

Mr Joseph also served as the telco's CEO in an acting capacity following the death of Bob Collymore in July 2019.

Mr Ndegwa was picked to replace Collymore from April 1 this year.

"Michael is not a stranger to the Safaricom family... and joins with a mandate to improve customer sentiment, greater brand consideration and to bolster our digital transformation agenda," Mr Ndegwa said.

"I look forward to continue working with Michael in his new role."

Mr Joseph was the CEO of Safaricom Limited from July 2000 when the company was re-launched as a joint-venture between Vodafone UK and Telkom Kenya until his retirement in November 2010.

He is also Vodafone’s Strategic Advisor appointed to the Boards of Vodacom Group South Africa, Vodacom Mozambique, Vodacom Tanzania, and Safaricom Limited in Kenya.

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