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Michael Joseph appointed Safaricom board chairman

By Frankline Sunday | July 31st 2020

Safaricom has named Michael Joseph as its new chair following the retirement of Nicholas Ng'ang'a after 16 years on the board. 

Ng'ang'a was appointed to the board of the telecommunications firm by the Treasury in 2004 and to the position of chair in 2007, during which time he oversaw Safaricom’s robust growth and expansion into new business segments. 

He confirmed his exit at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday with Joseph set to take over tomorrow.

Joseph, who has twice served as the company’s chief executive, takes over a Sh1.1 trillion giant with a significant presence in several fields including health, financial services, agriculture and entertainment.

“It’s a great honour to be named chairman,” he told KTN yesterday following the announcement.

“It is not something I sought and I am not a great chairman. In fact, I am a bit of a dictator and the role does not really suit my personality. It is something that is necessary from a transition point of view.”

The new chair is particularly expected to aggressively push for more adoption of M-Pesa to other markets, more so following the share deal by majority shareholder Vodafone and its South Africa-based subsidiary Vodacom in 2017.

“We have a new CEO, a new CFO and the company is looking at new things and it’s great to have this stability at the board and it is what I will offer in this next period,” he said.

Joseph is also the chair of Kenya Airways, the troubled carrier that is struggling to navigate its way back to State ownership and through the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

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