Kenya: Michael Joseph Mourns Successor Bob Collymore

Safaricom's founding chief executive Michael Joseph (left) with the late Bob Collymore who succeeded him at the telecom giant (file photo).

Michael Joseph, the first CEO of Safaricom, has mourned his successor Bob Collymore as an enthusiastic person who had affinity for people.

Speaking at Michael Joseph Centre in Nairobi, Mr Joseph said he has total respect for Bob's legacy and what he did for the nine years at Safaricom since 2010.

"We have been very fortunate and lucky to have him. Bob understood what the DNA of Safaricom was all about and took it to another level," said Mr Joseph.

"We all experienced his enthusiasm, greatness and affinity with people. I think this is what has driven this company," he said.


Bob's death before end of his term means that the board will have to pick a successor earlier than was expected.

Chairman Nicholas Ng'ang'a says his board has always been alert to the fact that there was need to have a succession plan.

Mr Joseph says with the structures laid down by Bob, the board should be confident that the next CEO will take Bob's legacy to the next level.

"It is too early and premature to speculate what might happen next but as a board, we should be confident that whoever we select as the next leader of Safaricom will continue with that legacy," he said.


"It is now time to celebrate the life of Bob, the achievement he made in Kenya and for Safaricom in a very different, bigger, humane and personal way."

Family, friends, relatives and corporate leaders continued to pour out their condolences to Bob who passed on Monday morning at the age of 61.

CEO of Airtel Kenya Prasanta D Sarma said the telecommunications industry had lost an astute businessman who played a leading role in developing and enhancing the industry.

"We would like to express our sincere condolences to his family, staff at Safaricom, friends and all those he interacted with," said Mr Sarma in a press statement.

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