Peter Ndegwa named Safaricom CEO

Diageo's Peter Ndegwa who will take over as Safaricom CEO from April 1, 2020.

The Safaricom board has resolved to appoint Peter Ndegwa as the company’s Chief Executive Officer effective April 1, 2020.

A statement from the board says Mr Ndegwa joins the telco from Diageo PLC where he is the Managing Director of Diageo Continental Europe.

According to the statement, “Peter oversees the operations of Diageo PLC in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa region. He had previously served for seven years as CEO in Guinness Nigeria PLC and Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC, where he transformed the two operations to deliver a double- digit growth by investing in people, introducing new brands and reorganising the businesses.”

Prior to that, adds the board, “Peter served for eight years across a range of senior Executive Director roles at EABL (a Diageo subsidiary) based in Nairobi. Serving as the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Group Strategy Director, Sales Director, and as an Executive Director on the EABL Board, he was part of the team that saw the EABL business more than doubled in value – and winning the coveted Most Respected Business Award in East Africa for five years in a row.”

Peter holds an MBA from the London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

The CEO’s post fell vacant after the death of the Guyana-born  Bob Collymore on July 1, 2019, of cancer after which his predecessor and Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph was named as interim boss.

Safaricom has reported a 14.7 per cent increase in net profit to Sh63.4 billion for the year ended March 2019.

Service revenue grew by seven per cent to Sh240.3 billion derived largely from outgoing voice calls and Mpesa charges.

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Outgoing voice service revenue grew by 0.3 per cent to Sh95.9 billion and Mpesa revenue by 19.2 per cent to Sh74.99 billion.

While mobile data revenue increased by 6.4 per cent to Sh38.69b, its messaging revenue declined by 1.3 per cent to Sh17.50b an indication that most people are turning to web-based platforms like WhatsApp to send messages.

During the year, there was a 7.4 per cent increase in the number of customers to 31.8 million, which supported the services revenue of growth of 7.0 per cent.

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Hinting at reasons for settling on Peter, the Safaricom board said that he is credited “with the development of an affordable-beer strategy for EABL resulting in the production of new brands such as Senator beer”.

Peter started his career at PwC, the global consulting firm, where he worked for 11 years.

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SafaricomCEOPeter NdegwaDiageo