Next Safaricom leader should be world class

In Summary

• Safaricom is 35 percent owned by government and 35 percent by Vodacom

• In April Vodacom and government failed to agree on Collymore's successor

Late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore
Late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore

Sadly Bob Collymore has left us. May his soul rest in peace.

Now the issue of his successor must be settled. Safaricom is the biggest company in East Africa. Directly and indirectly, it is responsible for the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans.

Safaricom is 35 percent owned by government, 35 percent by Vodacom in South Africa, and 5 percent by Vodafone in the UK. The remaining 25 percent is traded on the NSE.


Bob should have retired but in April the government and Vodacom failed to agree on his successor. The government wanted a Kenyan and Vodacom wanted someone from Vodafone. Bob extended his contract so they could agree on a successor.

Ironically both Bob and his predecessor Michael Joseph both chose to become Kenyan citizens and were very popular with the public. It did not matter that one was originally South African and one British. What mattered was that they were highly competent managers and telecommunications gurus.

The next CEO of Safaricom should similarly be a world-class leader. It should be a secondary matter whether that person is Kenyan or a foreigner.

Quote of the day: 9. “No one is perfect in this imperfect world”.

Patrice Lumumba
The first Prime Minister of Congo was born on 2 July, 1925