Michael Joseph
Outgoing Safaricom Chairman Michael Joseph poses for a photo. [Photo/ Courtesy]

Outgoing Safaricom board chairman Michael Joseph has come out to explaithe reasons for his unexpected exit as a director and chairman of the board.

In a statement on Friday, July 29, 2022, Joseph said he wanted to focus on the new Safaricom venture in Ethiopia, and also Kenya Airways.

“Today’s AGM marks my last activity as the chairman of the Board of Safaricom PLC. There are a number of reasons why I decided to step down as Chairman… I want to devote more time to supporting Safaricom’s investment in Ethiopia and relinquishing the role of Chairman allows me the flexibility and freedom to undertake this important role on behalf of Safaricom. This will also allow me to devote more time to Kenya Airways during this critical time to ensure that we continue the work of restructuring and refinancing for KQ to remain on the journey towards profitability in the next 2 years,” Joseph said.

Effective Monday, August 1, 2022, John Ngumi will become the new Chairman of Safaricom. He will also be replacing Joseph as one of the Director’s representing the Government of Kenya on the Board of Safaricom.

Ngumi was appointed as a Director of Safaricom and elected Chairman of the Board at a Safaricom Board meeting held on Thusday, July 28, 2022.

“It is also important that I continue to play a role in the creation of the Pan African Airline Group which is important for the African continent to ensure connectivity as well as reliable and affordable air transport. While there is indeed a right time in any man or woman’s life to take a step back from business and devote more time to enjoying life, in my case, this will probably not happen yet as I will continue to participate in other interesting business opportunities available,” Joseph added.

Prior to resigning, Joseph says he consulted widely including discussions with the main shareholders, the Government of Kenya, Vodacom and Vodafone, the Board and CEO peter Ndegwa.

Joseph was Safaricom’s founding CEO before he became a Board Director and later back to CEO on the untimely death of the late Bob Collymore and finally as Chairman of the Board upon the retirement of the previous Chairman, Nicholas Nganga.

“I will remain as a Director on the Board, subject to approval, for the next few years to continue advising and supporting the Company generally through this transition, and support the Board to drive the Company’s strategic agenda as well as to provide continuity and transition guidance to our new Chairman,” he added.

“This is also the right time for me to step down as Chairman, as Peter has now been CEO for two and a half years during which time we worked closely as part of the transition. The strategic direction for the Company has been clearly set and approved by the Board.”

Read: John Ngumi Appointed Safaricom Chairman

>>> Safaricom Plots New-Look Corporate Structure

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