Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore dies in Nairobi, aged 61

Monday July 1 2019

Safaricom chief executive, Mr Bob Collymore. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom chief executive, Mr Bob Collymore. He died on the morning of July 1, 2019. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

VALERIE KOGA
By VALERIE KOGA
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Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore has died at his home early morning on July 1, 2019, Safaricom chairman Nicholas Nganga said in a press statement.

The Guyanese-born British citizen took a medical leave in October 2017 to fight cancer and resumed work in July 2018.

"He had been undergoing treatment for this condition since then in different hospitals and most recently at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. In recent weeks, his condition worsened," the statement says.

A screen grab of the Safaricom statement
A screen grab of the Safaricom statement following CEO Bob Collymore's death. PHOTO | TWITTER

Collymore, 61, is survived by widow Wambui Kamiru Collymore and four children.

Following news of his death, Twitter was flooded with condolence messages.

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A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO |
A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO | TWITTER

President Uhuru Kenyatta posted a condolence message via State House Twitter handle saying, "It is with deep sadness that I have this morning received the news of the death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore after years of battling cancer. As a country, we've lost a distinguished corporate leader whose contribution to our national wellbeing will be missed."

Several Kenyan leaders, including Deputy President William Ruto, African Union envoy Raila Odinga and Chief Justice David Maraga also sent their condolence messages through Twitter.

A screen grab of Airtel Kenya's statement
A screen grab of Airtel Kenya's statement following CEO Bob Collymore's death. PHOTO | TWITTER

Airtel Kenya, a big telco in Kenya, also send their condolence message, "As the telecommunications industry, we have lost an astute businessman who played a leading role in development and enhancement of the industry."

Kao Chic, using the handle @Emmah017, tweeted: "We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. The world has lost a beautiful and brilliant mind. RIP Bob Collymore."

A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO |
A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO | TWITTER

A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO |
A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO | TWITTER

Mr Collymore had earlier indicated he would leave his post as Safaricom CEO in August. And in early May, he was appointed as a board member for the National Cancer Institute through a gazette notice.

Later, on May 23, he said his contract with Safaricom was extended by a year to compensate for the time he was away on medical leave. He was scheduled to leave the telco in 2020.

"I am not going anywhere. I will be here for another one year till 2020," Mr Collymore was quoted saying at the time.

A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO |
A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO | TWITTER

A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO |
A screen grab of comments on Twitter. PHOTO | TWITTER

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