Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telco, paid Michael Joseph an additional bonus of Sh127.5 million in the year ended March, making him Kenya’s best paid board member of a firm listed on the Nairobi stock exchange.
The bonus came in a period when he had already relinquished the chief executive post to Peter Ndegwa, whose appointment took effect on April 1, 2020. Besides the Sh127.5 million bonus Mr Joseph earned in the review period, he also received Sh6.3 million worth of fees as chairman and non-executive director, taking his total compensation to Sh133.8 million.
After stepping down as CEO, he remained as a non-executive director and was later elevated to chairman on August 1, 2020 to replace Nicholas Ng’ang’a, who retired. In the previous financial year (to March 2020), Mr Joseph’s earnings also comprised elements of his CEO role and fees as a non-executive director and totaled Sh126.3 million.
This included a salary of Sh88.4 million, a bonus (Sh23.4 million) and a director’s fee (Sh360,000). Mr Joseph, a Safaricom veteran, provided stability to the telco as it searched for Mr Collymore’s substantive successor.
Recently, Ethiopia awarded a telecoms licence to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom. The shake-up of Ethiopia’s lucrative telecoms sector, which is currently controlled by state-owned Ethio Telecom, is a cornerstone of prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda. This move will end the Ethiopian government’s monopoly over its telecoms sector, which is one of the last in the world to be shut down.