Michael Joseph replaces Nicholas Ng’ang’a as Safaricom board chair

Listed telco Safaricom has announced the retirement of its long-serving Chairman Nicholas Nganga and the appointment of Michael Joseph as the new Chairman of the Board with effect from August 1, 2020.

Michael, who has had two stints at the firm as the CEO, both substantive and acting, takes over from Nganga who has been the chairman of the board since 2007. Nganga joined the Board in May 2004 and was elected Chairman in January 2007. He has steered the company through various milestones over the 13 years he was at the helm. During his tenure as chairman. Nganga has been instrumental for the monumental growth that the telco has experienced.

Shareholder Value

Nganga took up the leadership reins at a time when the government was starting the process of offering 25% of its shares to the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in 2008. He has managed to grow shareholder value by 607% since listing. Safaricom market capitalization at Kshs 1.075 trillion is worth 50% of all the listed firms on the NSE.

Customer Growth

At the time of his appointment as Chairman, Safaricom had slightly over 6 million customers, 1,000 employees and only 8 Safaricom shops across the country. Nganga retires from the telco that now serves over 35.6 million customers, across 50 shops and hundreds of service desks across the country, with a staff force of over 6,500 employees.

He led the board in overseeing the rapid network development in the country, having started with 3G upgrading on his appointment at a cost of Kshs 1 billion. In his last financial year as chairman, Safaricom announced investment of Kshs 36 billion to expand its network coverage.

Safaricom and Community

Under his leadership, Nganga has steered Safaricom into ensuring diversity and inclusion in all that we do. This commitment has seen the staff gender distribution stand at 51% women and 49% men whilst in management we have 35% women and 65% men. On inclusion, we have 131 staff with various disabilities representing about 2.4% of the staff population. Out of this, 53% are women and 47% are men.

Global Partnerships  and Recognition

Safaricom has been recognized globally in various forums, key amongst them being identified as a Global compact Lead organization for its commitment to United Nations Global Compact and principles for responsible business.

In 2016 Safaricom began the process of integrating 9 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its business operations and the sustainability framework is now anchored around the SDGs.

M-PESA has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Finance Projects of the last 50 years by Project Management Institute (PMI) in its 2019 Most Influential Projects list.

In addition, Safaricom has been honoured and awarded by various organizations as employer of choice and amongst the top organizations in Africa.

Transforming Lives

Nganga has led the organization in line with its purpose to ‘Transform Lives’. Together with the Board, he was instrumental in helping the quick adoption of this purpose across all of Safaricom.

Through the UN’s SDGs, Safaricom is and has been committed to delivering connectivity and innovative products and services that will provide unmatched solutions to meet the needs of Kenyans by enabling access through its technologies and partners and by exploring opportunities in Health, Education and Energy.

“We sincerely thank Mr Nganga for his dedication, counsel, commitment and leadership in the Board over the years. We wish you the very best in your future endeavors and we say, Ahsante sana for your service,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.

“I also take this opportunity to welcome on Board, Michael who is not a stranger to the Safaricom family. He has served as non-executive board member since September 2008 and joins with a mandate to improve customer sentiment, greater brand consideration and to bolster our digital transformation agenda.”


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