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Safaricom share gains as Michael Joseph is appointed as an interim CEO

In Summary

• Safaricom Plc share dropped marginally even as the firm appointed Michael Joseph interim CEO to replace the late Bob Collymore who was cremated yesterday in Nairobi.

• It later gained momentum to close the day at Sh28.20, five cents higher compared to the previous day.

New Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph /FILE
New Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph /FILE

Safaricom Plc share dropped marginally even as the firm appointed Michael Joseph interim CEO to replace the late Bob Collymore who was cremated yesterday in Nairobi.

A spot check on NutCracker, a real time NSE tracker showed the share opened  at Sh28.15 shrinking marginally to Sh28 until 1.30pm as investors internalised the news.

It later gained to close the day at Sh28.20, five cents higher compared to the previous day.

Safaricom's  board announced Joseph's  appointment before Collymore’s body was removed from Lee Funeral Home for cremation in Nairobi’s Kariokor Crematorium.

Following the passing of the company’s CEO, at a Special Board meeting of the directors, the board resolved to appoint Michael Joseph, a Board member of the Company as the interim CEO with immediate effect,” a statement issued by Kathryne Maundu, Safaricom’s Company Secretary said.

The 67 year old served as Safaricom CEO between July 2000 and 2010 when the firm was at the time re-launched as a joint venture between Vodafone UK and Telkom Kenya.

“They just need somebody to sort of steer the company as they decide on a substantive CEO,” Reuters quoted Eric Musau, head of research at Standard Investment Bank. “It is just to get that reassuring hand during this transition.”

Safaricom is 35 percent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, the  Kenya government has a 35 percent stake, 25 percent is traded at the Nairobi Securities Exchange while  Vodafone Group has a five per cent stake.

Te telco controls about 62% of Kenya’s mobile market with 30 million subscribers.

During his tenure, he steered the company from a subscriber base of less than 20,000 to over 16.71 million subscribers before handing over the mantle to the late Bob Collymore who succumbed to cancer on Monday.

Joseph is expected to hold the brief at the East Africa’s largest telco as the board juggle chairs to find Collymore’s replacement.

The late CEO is accredited for the buoyant growth of the telco, which is currently commanding 30 million subscribers.

Safaricom’s share grew from Sh4 to current Sh28 during his stint spanning nine years.