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Safaricom extends Bob Collymore’s contract by 12 months

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM Chief executive Bob Collymore says he will be at the helm of the telecommunications firm till 2020.

Mr Collymore said the telco had extended his term for a year to allow him to compensate for his earlier absence out of medical leave.

“I will be at the company till 2020,”said Mr Collymore in a briefing with reporters Thursday on the sidelines of The Africa Shared Value Summit held in Nairobi.

This marks the second extension of Mr Collymore’s term at the helm of Safaricom.

Mr Collymore, a Guyana-born British citizen, 61, took charge of Safaricom in 2010 on a three-year contract after the company’s founding CEO, Michael Joseph, retired.

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He had his term renewed for another three years and was expected to end in August 2016, but was renewed for two more years till August this year.

Stability

The initial extension was seen as a pointer to the telco’s preference for stability rather than change as it navigated a difficult operating environment characterised by ever changing regulation.

Citi analysts have projected that Safaricom’s revenues could face headwinds arising from subdued private sector growth and launch of new mobile payment products amid a proposed regulation of consumer prices in the telecoms sector. The telco even then remains profitable.

Mr Collymore took medical leave in October 2017 to receive specialised treatment.

He resumed work in August last year after a nine-month medical leave, revealing he had battled acute myeloid leukaemia, a type of cancer that inhibits white blood cell production.

The cancer has since gone into remission, Mr Collymore said on his return.

During his medical leave absence, Safaricom chief financial officer Sateesh Kamath had taken on a primary role to fill the CEO void and was supported by Joseph Ogutu – the company’s director of Strategy and Innovation.

Mr Ogutu had according to the telco, taken charge of Safaricom’s day-to-day operations until Mr Collymore’s return.

M-Pesa, data performance

Safaricom net profit grew by 14.7 percent to Sh63.4 billion in the year ended March 2019, on strong M-Pesa and mobile data performance, marking the seventh straight year of increasing bottom-line.

The performance, came on the back of total revenue growing by 7.1 per cent to Sh250.96 billion as revenue from voice, M-Pesa, mobile data and fixed service grew.

During the release of the results, Mr Collymore said it was commendable that the telco continued to generate positive momentum in a tough economic year for customers.

“We achieved this by focusing on the customer, investing in the quality of our service, the performance of our network and creating differentiated customer experiences,” said Mr Collymore.

During the period, service revenue was up seven per cent to Sh240.3 billion.

This was supported by M-Pesa revenue growth of 19.2 per cent to Sh74.99 billion as fixed service revenue increased by 22.7 per cent to Sh8.19 billion.

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