Nairobi News

Hustle

New dawn as Ndegwa takes charge at Safaricom as first Kenyan CEO

The much-awaited assumption into office of Peter Ndegwa as the Chief Executive Officer at Safaricom to succeed Bob Collymore, who died of cancer on July 1, last year, has come into effect.

Mr Ndegwa becomes the first Kenyan to run the giant telco.

Wednesday saw the former Managing Director of Diageo Continental Europe officially take over from founding CEO Michael Joseph, who has been the acting CEO since Collymore’s death.

The 51-year-old incoming CEO will be taking over the most profitable company in East and Central Africa at a time when businesses have been hard hit by the coronavirus global pandemic.

As a result, Ndegwa’s entry is unlikely to be marked by pomp and circumstance and the telco took to social media to welcome their new boss on board.

Mr Joseph confirmed on Tuesday that Mr Ndegwa would take charge under his guidance for the next few months, even as the company struggles with economic flows brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.

“I will be with him for the next few months guiding him through. It is a slow process, but he understands the company well,” said the outgoing CEO.

He added that Ndegwa has been participating in Safaricom’s meetings and engaging the board for the last two months ahead of his official duties.

During his stint as the CFO of East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), he saw the implementation of an affordable-beer strategy culminating in the introduction of low-cost Senator Keg beer that has revolutionised the local beer industry.

Furthermore, his stint at Diageo’s Nigeria and Ghana units saw double digits growth.

Ndegwa, a certified public accountant, holds an MBA from London School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi.