Days after we reported that Airtel Kenya was in the process of sending home more staff after the departure of key members of the C-Suite, the telco has sacked another batch of employees even before the month ends, just as we had predicted.
Airtel Kenya has today -Friday January 13, 2017 – sacked a number of staff (said to be about 150) as can be seen from one of the termination letters pasted below.
In a statement, Airtel Kenya said that it “is undertaking strategic organizational restructuring to improve efficiency across functions with an aim to enhance customer experience,” adding that the “initiative will impact some roles that will be merged or become redundant.”
“As a responsible employer, Airtel is sensitive towards the impacted employees and is committed towards minimizing the impact of this initiative. To assist the affected staff members during the transition, the Company will compensate the employees over and above what is prescribed as per the prevailing laws. Airtel Kenya is also working with a leading talent search firm to offer job search services, and provide the necessary training required to find new opportunities. The Company will bear the full cost of this support service,” stated the telco.
Apart from the sackings, another three Airtel Kenya directors are also said to be on their way out of Mombasa Road – among these being Bernard Muteti, the firm’s Enterprise and Wholesale Business Director who was appointed in September 2015 and Topister Muga, Airtel Kenya’s Head of Airtel Money who took over the role in October 2014 after having a stint at Vodafone and Safaricom’s mobile money transfer units. The identity of the other director set to leave the firm is yet to be disclosed.
Should the 3 directors decamp from the telco, they will join Levi Nyakundi, Airtel Kenya’s former Marketing Director who left to join telecom industry rival Telkom Kenya as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Other directors who have quit Bharti Airtel’s Kenya operation include Dick Omondi, who was the telco’s Corporate Affairs Director, then quit in July last year and moved to Audimu, a new marketing, corporate relations and PR startup based in Nairobi as an Associate while Abdallah Khamis, who joined the firm in April 2015 as Commercial Director has also left. Another high-level exit in the course of last year was that of the Customer Service Director.
The telco, which has for long held the second market position in Kenya’s telcom’s industry in terms of marketshare and subscribers, is also shutting down its offices in Westlands, situated at the Oval. The Oval has been Airtel Africa‘s headquarters since 2015 when the telco decided to set up its regional hub in the country.
With the closure of the Westlands office, it basically means that Airtel Kenya’s Customer Care Centre, based at Artcaffe within the same building, is also shutting down.
With the shutting down of the Westlands office, it also means that Airtel Kenya’s – and by extension Airtel Africa – operations have now been moved to Parkside Towers. This move has led to speculation the that telco maybe in the process of exiting the Kenyan market, and now only looking for a suitable suitor to buy it out.
However, Airtel Kenya sought to allay such fears in it statement, saying that it “remains committed to the Kenyan market and will continue to invest in order to drive innovation, enhance network quality and customer service delivery.”