Gov’t will not interfere with search for new Safaricom CEO after Collymore’s death: Mucheru


ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru with the new Communications Authority Board
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru with the new Communications Authority Board

The government has stated that it will not interfere with Safaricom’s process of searching for a new CEO after the death of Bob Collymore.

According to ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, the telco is capable of picking it’s own management team.

“They are in the process of doing so and we are confident that the board will do this,” he said on Friday.

Three weeks ago, Mucheru had said that a Kenyan should fill the now vacant Safaricom CEO post.

“I don’t think the government position has changed, we would still love to see a Kenyan. However like any other company, they (Safaricom) have a choice as to who they want to be their CEO,” Mucheru told Citizen Digital on July 3.

At the moment, former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph is heading the telco on an interim basis.

NOT READY TO FILL HIS SHOES

During a past interview with K24 TV, Joseph revealed that he was picked because senior officials at the company are not ready to fill Collymore’s shoes.

He also intimated that the search for Collymore’s successor began 18 months ago but stalled due to demands and pressure from various corners.

“It was a worldwide search, including candidates from Kenya and eventually we came to a very short list, we came to a decision but we didn’t execute it because there was a concern as to whether the successor to Bob should be a Kenyan or not,” he said.

“And because there was some question about that, we decided to put it on hold for a while, and that’s why we asked Bob to stay for another year while we thought about how we could do it,” he added.

SPLITTING SAFARICOM INTO ENTITIES

On whether Safaricom will be split into different entities due to mounting pressure from other players in the market over its dominance in the market, CS Mucheru said the government will not oblige.

He noted that if the government pushes for the spilt of the entity it will drive away prospective investors from the Kenyan market.

“The government will not spilt Safaricom; if they decide to do it that’s up to them but we will not force them or impose regulations that will force the company to spilt,” he said.

“They are expected to roll out their 5G network soon, this means that they need money for innovation and if we split they might not do this,” he added.

The CS further stated that Safaricom’s share in voice revenues have been declining and they need other revenue streams to allow for innovation and expansion of the company.

In the latest CA quarterly report, Safaricom still leads the pack in terms of market share although its edge dropped to 62.4 percent from 63.3 percent recorded in the preceding quarter.

Safaricom’s share has been declining in the last few quarters after hitting the 72 percent mark at one time.

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Story By Faizal Ahmed
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