Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa speaks at an event to mark the company's 20th Anniversary on October 27, 2020
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa speaks at an event to mark the company's 20th Anniversary on October 27, 2020

Safaricom has undertaken a shake-up of key departments in line with its strategy to grow into a “purpose-led technology firm”.

The strategy, first announced by CEO Peter Ndegwa at celebrations to mark the company’s 20th anniversary, has started taking shape with key members of the management team affected by the latest changes.

Moving away from reliance on voice and SMS, the telco is banking on the network, technology, financial services and fixed internet businesses to grow revenues.

A memo from Ndegwa revealed that the information technology and network departments had been merged into technology and information organisation.

The department will be led by Morten Bangsgaard, an experienced telecommunications technology executive. His appointment will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Safaricom’s newly appointed Head of Technology Morten Bangsgaard

The home and fibre businesses were also merged into the fixed internet business. A director for the department is to be confirmed at a later date.

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In addition, the telco has created a new position, head of productivity. The role will involve coming up with strategies to free up resources to be invested in different areas.

“We have initiated the talent sourcing process for the two roles and successful candidates will be announced in due course,” Ndegwa noted.

Following her appointment as Chairperson of the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and director of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), Safaricom’s Chief Enterprise Business Officer Rita Okuthe will leave Safaricom at the end of November.

She will be replaced by Joseph Wanjohi, who has been the head of enterprise sales since 2017.

“To allow her to give more attention to the two appointments, Rita will be leaving Safaricom on November 30, 2020,” Ndegwa explained.

Okuthe will, however, continue serving as a trustee of Safaricom Foundation.

Bangsgaard, who will lead the new technology and information department, holds a Master’s in Economics and Mathematics from Denmark’s Aarhus University.

He will join Safaricom from Maxis, a Malaysia-based communication service provider. Bangsgaard has been the Chief Technology Officer at Maxis since 2014.

With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, he has served in similar roles at organizations including Ericsson and TDC.

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Martin Siele is a senior reporter at Business Today.

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