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Safaricom’s Michael Joseph redeployed to lead Ethiopia campaign

By , Kenya-based correspondent
Kenya , Ethiopia , 02 Aug 2022
Michael Joseph.
Michael Joseph.

Safaricom has appointed a new Chairperson of the board after current Chair Michael Joseph stepped down to lead the company’s Ethiopia campaign.

Confirming the development, the company announced the appointment of John Ngumi to replace Joseph.

Joseph remains the current Chairman of Kenya Airways, a position he has held since October 2016.

He was appointed to chair the Safaricom PLC board in August 2020, having previously worked for the company as founder CEO from July 2000 to November 2010, and then again as acting CEO from July 2019 to March 2020.

John Ngumi.
John Ngumi.

Joseph released a statement which reads: “I want to devote more time to supporting Safaricom’s investment in Ethiopia and relinquishing the role of Chairman allows me the flexibility and freedom to undertake this important role on behalf of Safaricom. This will also allow me to devote more time to Kenya Airways during this critical time to ensure that we continue the work of restructuring and refinancing for KQ to remain on the journey towards profitability in the next 2 years.”

Neither Joseph nor the company has disclosed in what capacity he will serve in Safaricom Ethiopia.

Joseph added that he has worked closely with CEO Peter Ndegwa as part of the transition.

Joseph’s replacement, Ngumi, has served on the board of directors in both private companies and SOEs. This includes at Konza Technopolis Development Authority, at Kenya Pipeline Company Limited, and currently at the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

He also serves on the Kenya Airways PLC Board.

Ngumi was elected Chairman of the Board at a company meeting on 28 July. His appointment is subject to requisite regulatory approval.

While some local media have downplayed any impact the change in executive leadership could have on the company or its customers and partners, none of the industry analysts approached by ITWeb Africa were prepared to comment.

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