Statement from Michael Joseph
Today’s AGM marks my last activity as the chairman of the Board of Safaricom PLC.
Effective Monday, August 1st, 2022, John Ngumi, who is well- known to most of you, will become the new Chairman of Safaricom. He will also be replacing me as one of the Director’s representing the Government of Kenya on the Board of Safaricom.
John was appointed as a Director of Safaricom and elected Chairman of the Board at a Safaricom Board meeting held yesterday, July 28th, 2022. All of this, of course, is subject to the requisite regulatory approval.
There are a number of reasons why I decided to step down as Chairman:
- 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.
- This will also allow me to devote more time to Kenya Airways during this critical time to ensure that we continue the work of restructuring and refinancing for KQ to remain on the journey towards profitability in the next 2 years.
- It is also important that I continue to play a role in the creation of the Pan African Airline Group which is important for the African continent to ensure connectivity as well as reliable and affordable air transport.
- While there is indeed a right time in any man or woman’s life to take a step back from business and devote more time to enjoying life, in my case, this will probably not happen yet as I will continue to participate in other interesting business opportunities available.
Prior to making this decision, I consulted widely including discussions with our main shareholders, the Government of Kenya, Vodacom and Vodafone, the Board and of course with Peter, our CEO.
I have been part of this Company since its inception, firstly as the founding CEO, then Board Director, back to CEO on the untimely death of the late Bob Collymore and finally as Chairman of the Board upon the retirement of our previous Chairman, Nicholas Nganga.
I 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 this transition, and support the Board to drive the Company’s strategic agenda as well as to provide continuity and transition guidance to our new Chairman.
This is also the right time for me to step down as Chairman, as Peter has now been CEO for two and a half years during which time we worked closely as part of transition. The strategic direction for the Company has been clearly set and approved by the Board.
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.
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.