John Ngumi replaces Michael Joseph at Safaricom

John Ngumi addresses the press in Kisumu in March 2019. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Safaricom has appointed John Ngumi as a director and its chairman, taking over from Michael Joseph.

Mr Joseph said yesterday he is stepping down as chair to focus more on Safaricom's operations in Ethiopia as well on the revival of Kenya Airways (KQ) where he is the board chair.

He will, however, continue serving as a board member of Safaricom. Mr Ngumi takes over at a time when there are increased calls for Safaricom to split its telecommunications and mobile money business.

M-Pesa has over time grown to become the leading revenue stream for Safaricom and is among the areas that offer more growth opportunities for other telcos as well.

"Mr Ngumi has also been appointed as the chair of the board with effect from August 1, 2022," said Safaricom in a statement. "Mr Ngumi is one of Kenya's most celebrated bankers... he is a seasoned director having drawn his experience in both private companies and State-owned enterprises."

He boasts 35 years of experience in banking and has worked with both local and international firms, helping them raise capital for their projects across different markets.

Mr Ngumi has in the recent past taken an active role in State-owned entities and is currently the chair of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) which is the lead agency overseeing operations of the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN), which coordinates the country's port, rail and pipeline operations.

He is also a director at Kenya Airways and has previously chaired the board of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC). Last year, he chaired the Presidential Task Force that recommended a 30 per cent reduction in the cost of electricity.

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