Safaricom gets new CEO, replaces late Bob Collymore

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Kenya’s telecommunication company-Safaricom has a new Chief Executive Officer, ending close to four months of search for a substantial boss.

The Safaricom (Plc) Board of Directors on Thursday announced the appointment of Mr. Peter Ndegwa as the company’s new chief executive effective April 1, 2020.

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He joins Safaricom from Diageo (Plc) where he is the managing director of Diageo Continental Europe.

The position fell vacant after the demise of the late former chief executive Bob Collymore, who was serving a one year extension after his full term had come to fruition.

“Peter brings a wealth of experience in general management, commercial and business strategy, sales and finance operations, having spent over 25 years in various roles within the Financial Services and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors in Africa and Europe,” the telco said yesterday.

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In his current role, Ndegwa oversees the operations of Diageo 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 reorganizing the businesses.

Prior to that, Ndegwa served for eight years across a range of senior executive director roles at East Africa Breweries Limited (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.

He 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).

“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,” Safaricom Chairman Nicholas Nganga said.

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Martin Mwita is a business reporter based in Kenya. He covers equities, capital markets, trade and the East African Cooperation markets.

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