Nairobi — Kenya woke up Monday to the news that Bob Collymore, the CEO of Safaricom, had died at his home in Nairobi after a long battle with cancer.
Collymore, 61, has been in and out of the country for several months seeking treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
President Uhuru Kenyatta led Kenyans in mourning the CEO terming him as an accomplished corporate leader who steered Safaricom to a position of great admiration as East Africa's most profitable company.
"It is with a deep sense of loss that I have received the sad news of the death of Safaricom CEO Robert (Bob) William Collymore this morning. In this moment of great sorrow, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, relatives, friends and the staff of Safaricom," Kenyatta said in a statement.
Deputy President William Ruto described Collymore as 'a distinguished titan, whose shrewd leadership at the helm of Safaricom was commendable'.
"Collymore was exemplary, brilliant and courageous, especially in the manner he battled cancer," Ruto added.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga said the CEO served Kenya with dedication.
"My condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr Bob Collymore as well as the entire Safaricom fraternity. Bob served our country with dedication and sustained us as a communication hub in Africa. May his soul rest in eternal peace."
Industrialist Dr. Chris Chris Kirubi said the country had lost a distinguished leader who greatly contributed to national development.
"It is with deep sadness that I have learnt this morning news of the death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. As a country, we've lost a distinguished leader who greatly contributed to national development," he said.
Others who condoled with the family include Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.
Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiangi (Interior) and Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) also sent their condolence messages.
"I am saddened to learn of Bob Collymore's passing this morning. His visionary stewardship at Safaricom has positively impacted on the company and nation. May The Almighty rest his soul in eternal peace and give his family, friends and colleagues consolation at this time," Matiangi tweeted.
CS Juma described Colymore as a dear friend and an inspiration to many people.
"I convey my deepest condolences to Wambui & the kids,for the demise of Bob Collymore, a dear friend & model that inspired many people, young and old, in and beyond. His contribution will forever remain firmly imprinted in Kenya's development story."News of Collymore's battle with Cancer came into public in October 2017 when he took a medical leave and stayed out of the office for nine months.
"I look forward to being back in action in Nairobi soon," Collymore said at the time. He made his first public appearance in August 2018 after a nine-month sick leave.
In October 2017, Collymore traveled to the United Kingdom to receive treatment and returned in July last year to resume his duties.
Lately, he had been receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi.