Kenya: Safaricom Names Ilanna Darcy as Interim CFO

Safaricom has appointed its head of investor relations, Ilanna Darcy, as its new Chief Finance Officer (CFO) in an interim capacity effective July 1, 2020.

Ilanna replaces Sateesh Kamath, who was promoted to the Vodafone Business CFO. The CFO position at Safaricom is the second most powerful role and if Ilanna is confirmed, then she will be the second most powerful employee at East Africa's most profitable company.

Announcing the appointment on Tuesday, Safaricom chief executive Peter Ndegwa said she would be responsible for the overall financial planning, management and oversight of the organisation.

Ilanna joined Safaricom in February 2017 as the head of Finance Planning and analysis and investor relations. She previously worked for Digicel Group in South East Asia as its CFO.

"Ilanna has more than 20 year's experience, 13 at senior level, and has worked across three continents in the retail, FMCG and telecommunications sectors," Ndegwa said.

Ndegwa says as the head of investor relations, Ilanna has helped strengthen its position as a stock of choice among the international investment community.

He said at the time she joined Safaricom, its shares were trading at Sh18.57 compared to Sh28.9 at the moment.

Ilanna is a graduate of University College Dublin.

"I would like to thank Sateesh for his continuous support through the transition period," Ndegwa said.

In his new role, Mr Kamath will be reporting to the British firm Vodafone CEO Vinod Kumar besides serving as a member of Vodafone Group Finance Leadership.

Safaricom's net profit for the full year hat ended March 2020 jumped 19.54 per cent to Sh74.7 billion on strong M-Pesa and mobile data revenue growth that offset a decline in voice and messaging (SMS) revenues.

During period, Safaricom's M-Pesa revenue grew by 12.6 per cent to Sh84.44 billion as mobile data revenue increased by 12.1 percent to Sh40.67 billion.

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