Bob Collymore to stay an extra year at Safaricom as CEO

Leaving next year, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. [Photo, Standard]

The chief executive of Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator Bob Collymore said on Thursday he will stay on for an extra year in his role after the firm’s board extended his contract by 12 months.

“I’m here until the year 2020," the Safaricom boss told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting.

Last month, Reuters reported that the 61-year-old had planned not to renew his contract which was supposed to end in August because of health reasons.

“He wants to concentrate on his health so he did not wish to renew his contract,” one of the sources speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters.

In late 2017, he took a nine-month medical leave to undergo cancer treatment in London.

The CEO told Reuters that he was still consulting with the company’s board about his plans to step down and would make announcements at a later date which he did today.

“I have every confidence that whether I’m here or not, that this company will run. This is an institution. It is not a company which is just run by a single person,” he said.

Reuters said the father of two (non-biological) would have announced his resignation earlier but government’s insistence he should be succeeded by a Kenyan delayed announcing his replacement.


The Guyanese-born British corporate titan is credited with building Safaricom into East Africa’s most profitable company, thanks to the popular mobile money transfer service M-Pesa and a growing customer base.

He oversaw the launch of new products that contributed significantly to the firm's revenues such as newly launched overdraft facility Fuliza.

Fuliza has proved to be a gold mine as users borrowed more than Sh45 billion in just four months since its launch in January this year according to telco’s statistics.

During his tenure, Safaricom’s share price has increased by more than 400 percent to Sh26.00.

He has also led the charge against regulatory efforts to clip the company’s wings due to its dominant size.

Safaricom, which is 35 percent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, controls about 62 percent of Kenya’s mobile market, with 30 million subscribers. Britain’s Vodafone has a 5 percent stake and the Kenyan government 35 percent.