‘This is my company’, Michael Joseph hints at extended stay at Safaricom


Michael Joseph
Vodafone, Michael Joseph, Managing Director, Mobile Money Credit: Ed Robinson/OneRedEye

Safaricom’s interim CEO Michael Joseph has dropped the biggest hint yet at an extended stay at the helm of the giant telco.

Mr. Joseph was re-appointed to the post on an interim basis in July following the demise of Bob Collymore.

“Personally, this is really my company. I really want to make sure nothing happens to this company and will stay on for as long as is necessary,” Michael Joseph told a news conference on Friday.

“What happened was really unfortunate. However, how long I stay as interim CEO, I don’t know,” he added.

The South African-born American served as the first Safaricom CEO for 10 years.

During a past interview with Business Daily, he intimated that he had acquired Kenyan citizenship and that ‘Kenya is his home’.

When his tenure ended, he was appointed as Maseno University Chancellor and most recently as the Kenya Airways Board Chairman.

The Board had already commenced a hiring process after Mr. Collymore indicated that he would leave in 2020.

However, his demise thrust the Safaricom Board into turmoil forcing them to reach out to the former CEO.

According to Mr. Joseph, the succession process is in the final candidate selection phase.

“The next appointee may not necessary be from a telco background and therefore there is a likelihood of staying on longer on an interim or advisory post as the new appointee amalgamates to the role,” Mr. Joseph told Citizen Digital.

He further recalled the telco’s infancy days when its subscription base was less than 20,000 customers.

Currently, Safaricom has over 46 million subscribers.

Mr. Joseph has maintained oversight in ‘his company’ through a non-executive director role that he took up in September 2008.

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