Bob Collymore to Exit Safaricom in August

The head of Kenya’s biggest telecoms firm Safaricom plans to step down in August for health reasons, but the government’s insistence he should be succeeded by a Kenyan has delayed announcing a replacement, two company sources said.

Bob Collymore has helped to build Safaricom into East Africa’s most profitable company, thanks to the popular mobile money transfer service M-Pesa and a growing customer base.

However, he took a nine-month medical leave in late 2017 to return to his native England to battle cancer, and has now indicated he wants to step down, the sources told Reuters.

“He wants to concentrate on his health so he did not wish to renew his contract,” said one of them, speaking on condition of anonymity as there has been no official announcement.

Collymore told Reuters on Monday he was still in discussions with the board, adding it would make announcements on the chief executive position at a later date.

“I have every confidence that whether I’m here or not, that this company will run … This is an institution. It is not a company which is just ran by a single person,” he said.

During his tenure, Safaricom’s share price has increased by more than 400 percent to 28.00 shillings ($0.28). He has also led the charge against regulatory efforts to clip the company’s wings due to its dominant size.

Safaricom, which is 35 percent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, controls about 62 percent of Kenya’s mobile market, with 30 million subscribers. Britain’s Vodafone has a 5 percent stake and the Kenyan government 35 percent.

Private investors also own shares via the Nairobi bourse.

Safaricom, which has not commented on Collymore’s departure, will report its financial results for the year to the end of March on May 3.

The board interviewed candidates, including a senior Kenyan banking executive, before settling on an unidentified foreign national from within the Vodafone group to succeed Collymore, one of the sources said.

But the government objected, citing an agreement supporting the appointment of a Kenyan as CEO, adopted at a shareholder meeting in 2017.

“The state has said ‘no’. They might have to negotiate,” said the source with knowledge of the succession process.

Joe Mucheru, the minister for information communication and technology, said there had been no formal communication from the company on Collymore’s successor.

However, he said he would be surprised if the board could not find a Kenyan to run the company, adding that part of Collymore’s remit was to groom a local successor.

“I would be very surprised if they can’t find a Kenyan. It will be hard for them to justify, what is so special about telecoms?” Mucheru told Reuters.

Collymore, who said he had acquired Kenyan citizenship in recent years, said skills were more important than nationality. Kenyan law allows dual-nationality.

“You have to get the right person for the job. It might be a Kenyan, it might not be a Kenyan,” he said.

Such tensions are not unique to Kenya. Air France-KLM ruffled feathers in France last year when it picked its first foreign CEO.

Didn’t know tunanukishia seuth Efricans kitunguu namna hii.

vodacom is owned by vodafone UK. They just did a share swap. vodafone transferred 35% of safcom to vodacom then took up 15% of vodacom in return. Very common for multinationals companies that want to hide earnings away from london so that they pay less tax there. Most likely you will find its listed at cayman islands like most uk multinationals. Last year there was an uproar that google made £1 billion income in UK but paid zero tax after it successfully and legally masked its accounts through a web of tax havens and liberal international financial laws.

Then today Equity Bank decided to bury the hatchet with Safaricom since the failure of M-Kesho savings platform almost 10 years ago. They have now signed an MOU to expand their cooperation and interpret services further. And that there was the last opportunity for Telkom/Airtel to at least rival safcom. Has they gotten Equity onboard it would give them a better volume to grow to a rival force.

Akwende kabisa mwizi!!

He ruined safcom with his greed. He canceled unlimited net. Then brought in this thuggery where data and credit expire.

How do you buy something that isn’t yours?

I think safcom profits are inflated. Hio kitu watu wamehama sana tangu Collymore aingie.

Enyewe vitu zinakusumbua akili ni tudogo

Can you back it up with statistics, any link?

Na kwani ni wenu juu unamtetea hivo? Hujui huyu ni mzungu mweusi tu straight from the colonial motherland. Ama unafanya kazi safcon ndio maana umeudhika?

Safaricom ni wezi. Simple. Unaweza aje nunua kitu halafu unanyang’anywa baadaye.

Ati ununue sukuma wiki leo halafu ukiweka kwa fridge it disappears… too bad you didn’t use it in time. The owner has taken it back.

Ama ukienda duka, “Shika hii nguo, lakini nimekupatia mwezi moja tu. Umeskia??!”

Straight up thugs.

Fuck links. Companies have been known to inflate figures to impress shareholders and investors. It’s not new.

Hii ilibidi. Niggas buying unliminet at 200 bob were all over torrent sites, clogging the system and making speeds slow for other normal users. Saa utanunua aje bundles alafu speeds ziko 56kbps?? They were losing data customers at an alarming rate, it had to go.

For instance one of Safaricom’s core business is Voice and Mpesa.

In 2017/18 they posted kshs 95.64 billion for voice. In 2016/17 they posted kshs. 93.46 billion for voice. That’s a slight growth.

In 2017/18 they posted kshs. 62.9 billion for mpesa. And in 2016/17 they posted 55.1billion.

Halafu baadaye unaskia some insane profit, year on year growth.

And every year they grow… even when people shift to talking on whatsapp, safaricom voice still grows. Not unless they factor in govt. tenders to these super profits or someone does accounting magic… or they include profits from other markets.

Safaricom mobile data grew from Kshs 29.3 billion in 2016/17 to Ksh36.4 billion in 2017/18… I don believe it!

After ile competition wamechapwa na airtel na telcom?!

Hio ni maongo buda boss. If that is the excuse they gave then, then that is a yuuuge lie.

You can’t clog up a system. And even if you did, kwani server zimeisha duka? We are talking 4G and 5G today just upgrade if the customers are clogging!!

In fact what they do is, they slow down the speeds on their end so that they can create the excuse to get rid of unlimited data.

Waligundua these fuckers are eating too much, we can’t give them that much data. They must pay more. GREED.

Wamesaidika na nini na vile watu walihamia Zuku na kwingine? Today Safaricom keeps begging me with these leaflets niweke Safaricom home fibre!!

Please weka tu Safaricom home fibre, free installation… na wanaandika na felt pen hapo, Call Eugine, Call Elisa…

Fuck you Safaricom. Sirudi.

But I will definitely call Elisa for other matters.

Hii beef yako ni kama ya Avengers na Thanos haha. Nwy, safaricom tuliachia tu mpesa nowadays. Cant remember the last time i topped up