Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom picks ex-CEO Joseph as chairman

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Joseph flanked by Safaricom chairman Nicholas Ng'ang'a addresses an investor briefing at their headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya November 1, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Michael Joseph addresses an investor briefing at their headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya November 1, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator Safaricom has chosen its former chief executive, Michael Joseph, as board chairman, it said on Thursday.

He replaces the long-serving Nicholas Ng’ang’a, who has retired.

The move is part of a shareholder deal reached last year.

Under it the government, which holds a 35% stake in the company, won the right to pick a Kenyan as CEO, while the other major shareholder, Vodacom, got to pick the chairman, sources told Reuters last year. Vodacom is part of Britain’s Vodafone Group.

Peter Ndegwa, a Kenyan national, took over as chief executive in April, joining from Diageo, where he was the managing director of continental Europe.

Joseph, a dual American-Kenyan national, was Safaricom CEO until 2010 and has been a board member of the company since then. Ng’ang’a had been chairman since 2007.