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Government Keeping Tabs on Safaricom ExCo Seats as Deborah Mallowah Exits

GBR Team 20/01/2021

Debrah Mallowah has left Safaricom for a regional position with Coca Cola, further opening up another  C-Suite office that new CEO Peter Ndegwa has to fill.

The Kenya Government is said to be following keenly how these managerial posts at the nation’s most valuable company will be filled.

With a 35% stake in the listed telco, and a  number of key economic and security arrangements with Safaricom, Government has recently moved to have a more direct say in the strategically important company’s affairs beginning with the demand that an indigenous Kenyan be appointed CEO.

CEO Peter Ndegwa who took up appointment in April 2020, is expected to put his stamp on Safaricom’s leadership team over the coming few months with several high-level departures said to be on the cards.

Government last year pocketed Sh19.63billion (US$190m) from Safaricom as dividends making the company a key asset amidst a biting revenue crunch and mounting public debt.

Cabinet Secretary for ICT Joe Mucheru told GBR today that the government was actively following any leadership moves at the giant telco through the Board of  Directors.

“Government has several board seats. So it is a continuous process,” the CS said,

Mallowah’s departure closely follows that of Rita Okuthe, the Chief Enterprise Business Officer in November 2020. Joe Ogutu will act in Mallowah’s place, while Joseph Wanjohi has been acting for Okuthe until substantive appointments are made.

The company is also said to be looking to fill in the Head of Fixed Business, a position that has attracted heavyweight players in the IT and telecoms sector in the country. (See separate story)