Report: Safaricom paid CEO eye-watering Sh16m monthly

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore when he appeared before the National Assembly Communication, Information and Innovation Committee on the inquiry into legislative and regulatory gaps affecting competition in the telecommunication sub-sector at County Hall, Nairobi August 6, 2018. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]

Mobile service provider Safaricom paid its Chief Executive Officer Sh196.47 million in the year to March this year, according to the firm’s annual report.

This would translate to Sh16 million a month or more than half a million a day.

Last year’s pay was a 16 per cent increase from the Sh168.45 million the firm paid Bob Collymore in the year to March last year.

The pay included his annual basic salary of Sh94.32 million, a bonus of Sh32.42 million, non-cash benefits worth Sh35.64 million and a stake in the company worth Sh34 million, which was offered through an Employee Performance Share Award Plan (EPSAP).

According to the report published yesterday, Sateesh Kamath, the firm’s chief financial officer, took home Sh96.6 million during the year, which included a Sh52.79 million basic salary.

Medical leave

Mr Kamath stepped in and took over some key roles during Mr Collymore’s sick leave since October last year. Collymore returned from the nine-month medical leave on Monday.

Nicholas Ng’ang’a, the telco’s chairman, was paid Sh6.4 million in director’s fee during the year, while Michael Joseph, the telco’s former chief executive and currently a board member, was paid Sh2.93 million.

In total, the members of the board (who include Collymore and Kamath) were paid Sh347 million during the year to March 2018.

Safaricom also disclosed that it paid a total Sh9.18 billion to its 6,130 employees during the year under review.

This would translate to an average Sh1.5 million per employee during the year or Sh125, 000 per employee every month.

The average age of the firm’s employees is 27 years.

While Collymore oversees the most profitable and the largest firm in the region, his pay is considerably lower compared to some of his peers’.

Though no data was available on how his competitors, including Airtel and Telkom, pay their bosses or staff, a number of chief executives of Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firms earned way more, with some CEOs taking home twice as much as Collymore did.

Highest paid

Among the highest paid is Co-operative Bank’s chief executive Gideon Muriuki, who earned a total of Sh370 million last year, of which Sh99.8 million was in salary and allowances, while Sh270 million was a bonus.

James Mwangi, Equity Bank’s chief executive, got a salary of Sh56.73 million in the year to December last year, at Sh4.72 million per month.

This is in addition to allowances of Sh3.74 million, which when added to the salary sums up to Sh60.48 million.

While his pay is lower than some of his peers, he is also the single largest individual shareholder at Equity Bank.

He made Sh342.8 million in dividends. Barclays Bank of Kenya paid its Managing Director Jeremy Awori Sh89.52 million during the year to December last year, which was made up of Sh33.43 million as basic salary.

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