At last, a Kenyan takes over as Safaricom CEO
Safaricom on Thursday appointed the first Kenyan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective April 1, 2020.
The appointment of Peter Ndegwa, who joins the telco from Diageo PLC where he is the Managing Director of Diageo Continental Europe, was made by Safaricom’s Board of Directors.
“We are confident that Peter will carry on our vision of transforming lives while keeping us focused on meeting our customers’ needs and holding us to our new commitment of being Simple, Transparent and Honest,” the board said in a statement.
The appointment comes a few months after the appointed of Michael Joseph in an interim capacity following the death of Bob Collymore.
A statement from the company in July said Joseph was to assume the position with immediate effect after a special board meeting resolved so.
Mr Joseph is currently the Chairman of Kenya Airways and previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom.
Mr Ndegwa has spent more than 25 years in various roles within the Financial Services and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors in Africa and Europe.
In his current role, he oversees the operations of Diageo PLC in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa region.
He had previously served for seven years as CEO in Guinness Nigeria PLC and Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC, where he transformed the two operations to deliver a double digit growth by investing in people, introducing new brands and reorganising the businesses.
Prior to that, he served for eight years across a range of senior Executive Director roles at EABL (a Diageo subsidiary) based in Nairobi.
Serving as the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Group Strategy Director, Sales Director, and as an Executive Director on the EABL Board, he was part of the team that saw the EABL business more than doubled in value – and winning the coveted Most Respected Business Award in East Africa for five years in a row.
He is credited with the development of an affordable-beer strategy for EABL resulting in the production of new brands such as Senator beer. Senator beer became one of the most successful innovations by Diageo that has been featured in the Harvard Business Review.
Mr Ndegwa started his career at PwC, the global consulting firm, where he worked for 11 years.
He holds an MBA from the London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi.
He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).