Kenya: Why Michael Joseph Stepped Down As Safaricom Board Chair

Nairobi Kenya — On July 29 2022, Michael Joseph stepped down as Safaricom Board Chair during the firm's Annual General Meeting(AGM).

During the AGM, Joseph announced that John Ngumi will become the new Chairman of Safaricom effective August 1.

Ngumi will also replace Joseph as one of the Director's representing the Government of Kenya on the Board of Safaricom.

In a statement to newsrooms, Joseph said that one of the reasons he stepped down was to give more focus to Safaricom's investment in Ethiopia.

"I want to devote more time to supporting Safaricom's investment in Ethiopia and relinquishing the role of Chairman allows me the flexibility and freedom to undertake this important role on behalf of Safaricom," he said.

Joseph also noted that in stepping down from the role, he will be able to devote more time to Kenya Airways where he serves as Chairman.

He also noted that this is the right time to step down considering that Safaricom's CEO Peter Ndegwa has been with the firm for two and a half years and they worked closely as part of the transition.

The 76-year-old noted that prior to stepping down, he consulted widely having discussions with main shareholders, the Government of Kenya, Vodacom and Vodafone, the Board and the Safaricom CEO.

Joseph has been part of the Company since its inception in 2000, serving as the founding CEO, then Board Director, then back to CEO after the death of the late Bob Collymore, and finally as Chairman of the Board upon the retirement of the previous Chairman, Nicholas Nganga.

He noted that he will remain as a Director on the Board, subject to approval, for the next few years to continue advising and supporting the Company generally through the transition, and support the Board to drive the Company's strategic agenda as well as to providing continuity and transition guidance to the new Chairman.

"John Ngumi is highly experienced and has been closely allied with Safaricom since its inception including arranging our first bond and staying close to Safaricom. I will of course assist in the transition, but I am very confident that John is the right Chairman for the Company, to take us into the future," he said

"You will, no doubt, hear more about this over the next few days and weeks, and, of course, in due course, you will hear more from John, our new Chairman. I take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to John and wish him all the best as the Chairman of Safaricom."

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