One more year for Collymore amid State row

Bob Collymore
Bob Collymore yesterday said the company’s board had extended his term in office to August next year. (Standard)
Safaricom boss Bob Collymore has been granted a one-year extension on his contract amid the push by the Government for a Kenyan to head the country’s most profitable firm.

Collymore yesterday said the company’s board had extended his term in office to August next year to complete some of the key projects he had kicked off over the past two years.

The Guyanese-born British national took a nine-month medical leave in late 2017 to undergo treatment in England.

“Am not going anywhere. I have been given another year to 2020,” said Mr Collymore at a press briefing in Nairobi.

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“We have to diversify revenues and I will spend the next year helping to diversify revenue streams from e-commerce and digifarm.” The new development comes amid a simmering row between the firm’s biggest owners - the Government and Vodacom - on who should succeed him.

Safaricom is 35 per cent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, while Britain’s Vodafone has a five per cent stake and the Kenyan Government 35 per cent.

The Government has indicated that it wants the next CEO of the systemic telecommunications company to be a Kenyan, but Vodacom has been pushing back.

Collymore took over the helm of Safaricom in 2010 from Michael Joseph who currently sits in the company’s board as a non-executive director as well as the board chairman of national carrier Kenya Airways.

In 2017, shareholders voted to extend his contract by an additional two years after his tenure expired. His term is now set to expire in August 2020 and makes him the longest-serving CEO in the telco’s brief history.

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The last year of his tenure is, however, likely to be the most eventful as the company navigates through new headwinds in both the domestic and regional markets.

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SafaricomBob CollymoreVodacomVodafoneMichael Joseph