Safaricom extends Bob Collymore’s contract by a year
Thursday May 23 2019
Kenya telecommunications giant Safaricom has extended chief executive Bob Collymore’s contract by a year to compensate for the time he was away on medical leave.
The CEO will now leave the telco in 2020.
"I am not going anywhere. I will be here for another one year till 2020," Mr Collymore said on the sidelines of the shared value event in Nairobi.
The move now postpones transition at the listed firm that posted Sh63 billion profit last year.
The Guyanese-born British citizen took a medical leave in 2017 to fight cancer and it is understood that he wants to exit the firm.
Last month, Reuters reported that a row had erupted at the giant telco after the Kenyan government insisted that Mr Collymore should be succeeded by a Kenyan, delaying the announcement of his replacement.
Safaricom’s stronghold on Kenya’s economy has been cemented by its mobile money platform M-Pesa that has now been classified as a risk to the economy if it collapses.
The firm, listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), has more than 30 million customers and generates over Sh200 billion in revenues every year.
The telco has become critical in fighting crime as well as helping police with investigations given its reach.
Choosing a chief executive at Safaricom has always remained the preserve of Britain’s Vodafone, which was the major shareholder in the firm until 2017.
It transferred this powers to South Africa’s Vodacom after a share swap in 2017, which saw it remain with a five percent stake, while the South African firm ended up with a 35 percent stake.
The Kenyan government also has 35 percent share, similar to what South Africa’s Vodacom has, and without merging the shareholding, they have equal shareholder strength.