After 12 years of (one could say ‘distinguished’) service, Sylvia Mulinge – one of the most visible faces at Safaricom – is leaving the telco to assume a bigger role as the MD of Vodacom Tanzania.
Currently the Director for Consumer Business, where she’s been in charge of a huge portfolio of services and products including MPESA, Ms Mulinge leaves Safaricom on a high note if one were to consider the products and services which have been introduced to the market during her tenure – including Lipa Na Pesa, the BLAZE youth sub-brand and subsequent BYOB youth entrepreneurship TV show, FLEX pre-paid bundles and most recently, the Platinum bundles.
(TOP: Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s head of Consumer Business who is moving to Vodacom Tanzania as the MD).
Ms Mulinge – , one of the only three women in Safaricom’s C-Suite (or senior management ranks), the others being Rita Okuthe, the director of enterprise business unit and Jannet Atika, the director for operations – joined Safaricom in 2006 from Unilever as the Prepay product manager.
From there, she’d rise to Head of Retail, before being appointed the GM of Safaricom Business and finally, Director of Consumer Business.
Described in her professional profile as possessing “a keen interest in consumer marketing and brand activation,” Mulinge now moves on to try out her skills in Tanzania, a different territory and market, though still within the wider Vodacom Group, which has a significant stake in Safaricom.
At Vodacom Tanzania, Mulinge is taking over from Ian Ferrao, another Vodacom veteran who has been at the helm of the Tanzania operation since September 2015, having assumed the role from Vodacom Lesotho where he held a similar position. Ferrao has been with the Vodacom Group since July 2011.
And just like Safaricom, Vodacom is the largest operator in terms of market share with over 12 million subscribers as of September 2017 and the widest network coverage across the country and is one of the telcos to adopt the MPESA service.
The Vodacom Group of South Africa owns 65 per cent stake in Vodacom Tanzania while the remaining 35 per cent is owned by local Tanzanian shareholder, Mirambo Ltd.