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Michael Joseph or Sylvia Mulinge: Mixed reactions as Safaricom appoints interim CEO

By Fay Ngina | Jul 3rd 2019 | 3 min read

The appointment of Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph, as the Safaricom Interim Chief Executive officer following Bob Collymore’s death on Monday 1 July, has left netizens talking.

Collymore died at the age of 61 at his home in Nairobi after a long battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). He has left behind one wife and four children.

The company secretary Kathryne Maundu released a statement on Tuesday morning 2 July stating that Mr. Joseph, who is also a board member of Safaricom, will resume the position with immediate effect.

“Mr. Joseph will hold this position until the Board communicates in due course on a permanent appointment,” read part of the statement.

Michael Joseph, 67, was appointed CEO of the company from July 2000 and retired in November 2010.

A section of Kenyans on Twitter have expressed their opinions that Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer at Safaricom since November 2018, should have been offered the position.

Michael Joseph's appointment is a step back.????
Surely Sylvia mulinge deserved this chance to prove herself...
Come-on!!! pic.twitter.com/0sfsO7gG9C— ping pong official ???????? (@pauliddiali) July 2, 2019

Safaricom has an obvious CEO that they had tried to lend Tanzania's Vodacom, Sylvia Mulinge ???????????. Why are you putting a man on interim while you have the right woman for the job? ????
Michael Joseph
Bob Collymore pic.twitter.com/HGsr7h8Fqw

— The Primary Asset (@HOVELYZZ) July 2, 2019

Where is @fidakenya ,All the women Rep, Embrace Kenya? What is happening in Safaricom is intellectual Gender Based Violence, Sylvia Mulinge is a Kenyan & qualified to be the CEO of safcom. Michael Joseph is CEO on acting capacity waiting for a foreign Boss to be confirmed. pic.twitter.com/WugdmGaT6G— ben (@14may125) July 2, 2019

Michael Joseph isn’t a transformative leader. He was at the right place at the right time as 1st CEO of Safaricom.. MJ has neither charisma nor humility of Bob Collymore .. His failure to turn around Kenya Airways shows his ability .. Sylvia Mulinge deserves to be appointed CEO.— Donald B Kipkorir (@DonaldBKipkorir) July 2, 2019

However, others felt that Safaricom did the right thing appointing Mr. Joseph as the interim CEO.

For once #KOT should know that this is not anything they actually have a say in. The company should run as it wants and appoint whoever. It is not a social matter,it is a Business matter
"Michael Joseph"— Karen,M (@karen_maina) July 2, 2019

FYI, the foundation that Michael Joseph set up is what made it easy for Bob to make something good out of it. Of course it wasn't easy for Bob. But understand that the foundation has to be firm for a house to stand still.

— m:\iss mercy (@ItsMercyMutuku) July 2, 2019

First of all Joseph is Kenyan.Safaricom is a private company so they're free to appoint whoever they want.Sylvia mulinge might be proven but if anyone of Kenyan heritage is given the job,politics will infiltrate and look at what happened to the other companies— Asgardian King Kong (@agumba_george) July 2, 2019

Michael Joseph is a safe bet for safaricom having steered the company to success in the past, he may not be the best to drive them into the future though , hopefully a suitable replacement is found soon— Dr.Sam Kamau (@thesamkamau) July 2, 2019

Some neutral Kenyans thought that the fight between who should be CEO between Sylvia Mulinge and Michael Joseph should not be of concern at the moment as Bob’s family is still in mourning.

I will never involve myself in the fight on who between Michael Joseph and Sylvia Mulinge should be the new CEO of Safaricom because of the respect I had and still have for Bob Collymore and his family, Rest well Bob????
May God protect the family of Wambui during this trying time— SIALAH???????? (@nathansialah_) July 2, 2019

When Bob Collymore's family is mourning we are fighting arguing who is the best between Sylvia Mulinge & Michael Joseph. Please let our family be our first priority ????— Governor Wa Mosobeti (@Gov_Mosobeti) July 2, 2019

Bob Collymore's body hasn't even been buried yet Michael Joseph has replaced him as the CEO. People are now even fighting between Michael Joseph & Sylvia Mulinge who should have taken over but not asking how Bob's family is doing. Always put family first. It is that important. ????— BRAVIN™ (@ItsBravin) July 2, 2019

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