Since Bob Collymore took medical leave three weeks ago, there has been a wave of silent rumours over his fate at Safaricom. The talk has been that Collymore had been sent on leave to pay way for a new CEO.
Today, the rumours acquired a new life, with reports that Vodafone Ghana CEO Yolanda Cuba was set to replace Collymore at Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile operator and one of Africa’s richest companies. Ms Cuba has, however, dismissed the rumours.
Ms Cuba says media reports and social media discussions were ‘fake news’ and even wished Collymore a quick recovery. “Fake news are not news. Bob Collymore, wishing you a speedy recovery so that you can get back to your job,” Cuba wrote on her Twitter handle.
At the same time, Safaricom’s former CEO and the current Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph has confirmed that Collymore has not resigned urging people to instead support him with prayers and love instead of ill-informed and malicious comments.
“I have just visited Bob Collymore and he has not resigned and is doing fine under the circumstances,” he said.
Late last month, Safaricom announced that Collymore would be taking leave to receive specialized treatment for a number of months. The telco company appointed Chief Financial Officer Sateesh Kamath to take a primary role.
Safaricom chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a said the company will perform strongly despite Collymore’s leave.
Ng’ang’a says Collymore’s style of management is very strong as he has empowered managers to adequately work well. Bob Collymore’s illness has remained under wraps, with a source at the company saying he prefers hi pirvacy. “We would like to respect the confidentiality between both Bob Collymore and his doctors and cannot speculate on his illness,” he said.
Safaricom posted an increase in its half-year net income to Sh26.2 billion compared to Sh23.93 billion previously. Mobile data was the largest contributor growing by 31 percent to Sh17.55 billion compared Sh13.4 billion in the previous year.