Kenyan national Peter Ndegwa has been appointed CEO of East Africa’s largest telecoms firm and most profitable company, Safaricom.
The announcement made on Thursday concludes a lengthy search and widespread speculation over the firm’s next successor, following the death of its former CEO Bob Collymore.
Ndegwa will take the helm at one of the country’s most iconic and important business headquarters Safaricom House, on April 1 2020, a statement released by Safaricom’s Chairman said.
“We are confident that Peter will carry on our vision of transforming lives, meeting our customers’ needs and holding us to our new commitment of being Simple, Transparent and Honest,” the statement said.
Ndegwa is the former Managing Director of the world’s biggest drinks company, Diageo Continental Europe, that owns brands like Guinness, Johnnie Walker as well East African Breweries (EABL).
He holds an MBA from the London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi.
Following the death of Safaricom’s late CEO Bob Collymore in July after a long battle with cancer, the company launched a search to replace his visionary leadership, and deal with the threats that were emerging in response to its great success.
The Kenyan government suggested that it would prefer a Kenyan in the role, despite the success of the Guyanese-born, British-raised Collymore.
A Reuters report in April that the firm had interviewed an unnamed foreign national from Safaricom’s parent company Vodafone Group, triggered government protests. Collymore himself brushed aside the importance of the nationality of his successor.