Michael Joseph’s message to those attacking Peter Ndegwa because of his tribe

By Vincent Kejitan | Tuesday, Oct 29th 2019 at 15:39
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Safaricom interim CEO Michael Joseph has termed tribal comments aimed at incoming CEO Peter Ndegwa as unfortunate.

Speaking a day after Ndegwa was appointed Safaricom CEO effective April 1, 2020, Joseph said he was confident that the Diageo boss will not be influenced by Kenyan politics.

Ndegwa has an impressive CV having worked at renowned multinational companies and has an impeccable track record but a section of Kenyans suggested he would destroy the good work done by the late Bob Collymore.

Joseph, however, reads from a different script and believes Ndegwa has what it takes to run Safaricom.

“Many people talk. It is unfortunate for Kenya that we always look at the tribal affiliation of somebody [hired to lead a multi-national corporation]. [They debate whether] he would be influenced politically or not.

“I think it is very unfortunate that that is the trademark of Kenyans in general,” said Michael Joseph.

He stated that the time is ripe for the telco giant to have a native as its CEO, hinting that they might probably get someone internally down the road.

“I think Ndegwa won’t be influenced by Kenya’s politics… it was time Safaricom, as a Kenyan company, hired a native as its CEO.

“It was unfortunate that we did not choose somebody internally at this point. However, we will at some point [in the future],” he remarked.

Adding: “I don’t believe in that stuff [that a Kenyan CEO would run down Safaricom]. I think the Kenyan we have [Ndegwa] has the necessary integrity and maturity to do the right thing for Safaricom as a company, its shareholders, and Kenya in general.

“It is the right move politically and professionally to have a Kenyan at the helm of Safaricom,” reiterated Joseph.

When asked why they settled on Ndegwa, Joseph said that it was quite difficult to find the most suitable person for the role and likened his traits to the late Collymore.

“I expect Peter would do the same (take the company to the next level) …it will take him some time to settle in, it will take him some time to understand the DNA of the company, [but once he does, he will steer the company to greater levels of success].

“My expectation is that it will take him three to six months to settle in. I will be here to guide and help him,” said Michael Joseph.

“People know me… I am not an easy person; I expect him to deliver.”

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