Catherine Olaka returns to Telkom after 18 years, replaces Mercy Nduku as head of HR

Telkom has appointed Catherine Olaka as its Chief Human Resources Officer. Ms Olaka, a HR generalist, has a proven track record spanning 20 plus years, during which she achieved results through people in complex and challenging roles as well as at the executive level.

She returns to Telkom after 18 years since she left the same role in January 199 and replaces Mercy Nduku who has held the role from mid 2014.

Commenting on the appointment, Aldo Mareuse, CEO, Telkom said: “Catherine brings professional experience that cuts across all specialist areas of Human Resources. She brings to Telkom a truly global and commercial perspective on people management and will be an integral part of our executive team. Her expertise in organisation development and talent management planning will ensure the building of stronger and more motivated teams, which is critical for the realisation of our transformation agenda.”

Ms. Olaka has a wealth of valuable and demonstrable regional (Sub Saharan Africa) and industry experience within the ICT and Financial Service sectors. Prior to joining Telkom, she was the Chief Talent Officer at Tigo Tanzania, responsible for leading the firm’s HR function.

She also spearheaded the HR integration of Uganda Commercial Bank, after its acquisition by Standard Bank of South Africa, thereby harmonising the terms and conditions of service of over 1,400 employees across the bank’s 59 branches. Catherine was also responsible for rolling out the Balanced Scorecard, as a tool for managing performance, across the branch network at Standard Chartered Bank.

In a previous position as Hub HR Director at Ericsson Kenya Limited, she successfully transferred 600 employees across 6 countries within the region, following the award of a managed services deal to Ericsson by Airtel.

A Certified Executive Coach from the Association of Executive Coaches of the UK, Ms Olaka holds a Masters in Business Administration from Maastricht School of Management in The Netherlands, as well as a post graduate Diploma in HR, awarded by the Kenya National Examinations Council, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, majoring in Sociology, from the University of Nairobi.

She began her professional career with the then Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) and later joined Telkom Kenya after the split of KPTC, serving the company then for seven years.

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