Michael Joseph has been elected as the new Safaricom Plc Board Chair. His appointment concludes Nicholas Ng’ang’a’s well over decade-long leadership from 2007.
Ng’ang’a’s swansong thanked the directors as well as the Kenyans who have over the years grown alongside the Safaricom portfolio. “I have enjoyed every minute of working with this team,” he says, continuing, “I have worked with three CEOS (Michael Joseph, Bob Collymore and Peter Ndegwa), and all of them have been excellent and very supportive. I have no complaints whatsoever.” He also jokingly referenced his fortunes as Chair by saying, “I have really enjoyed this and it has helped me build my own income as you all know.”
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa made the announcement today morning during Safaricom’s first-ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) owing to the circumstances presented by COVID-19. Michael Joseph takes over from Nicholas Ng’ang’a with almost with immediate effect. As Nicholas exits on the 31 July 2020, Michael Joseph takes over from 1 August 2020.
As Peter points out, “He brings a wealth of skills and industry knowledge given his contribution to the growth of Safaricom from very humble beginnings to becoming one of the most innovative, influential and profitable companies in the East African region.”
Even as he acknowledged Michael Joseph’s contribution, he remembered to thank Ng’ang’a mentioning how he “took up the leadership reins at a time when the government was starting the process of offering 25 per cent of its shares to the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE),” during the particularly difficult year of 2008. Ng’ang’a also presided over “the growth of shareholder value by 607 per cent since listing,” said Ndegwa.
Starting out with a little over six million customers, a thousand employees and a meagre eight Safaricom shops in Kenya, Ng’ang’a’s rein foreshadowed a most successful retirement. He leaves Safaricom with “over 35.6 million customers, across 50 shops and hundreds of service desks across the country, with a staff force of over 6,500 employees,” Ndegwa applauded.
There is no doubt that as Chair, Michael Joseph will inspire and spur Safaricom’s innovative spirit. The present CEO of Kenya Airways appears to have his destiny linked to Kenya’s leading corporation. As it’s premier CEO, it remains evident that Michael Joseph embodied the energy of Safaricom to the extent that he, and it, were synonymous. It was, after all, under Michael Joseph’s leadership that Kenya placed globally as creator of the inimitable mpesa, a gift that keeps on giving.