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Bob Collymore loves art, music and flying choppers

Bob Collymore’s beginnings were humble. His first job was at the age of 16 when he was employed in a department store in the UK.

Over the years, he has risen to become the CEO of the most profitable company in East and Central Africa.

However, the Safaricom boss did not get there by chance. His history in telecommunications played a role in making him the perfect candidate to replace former Safaricom chief, Mr Michael Joseph.

Before joining Safaricom, Mr Collymore worked as the chief officer for corporate affairs of Vodacom in Johannesburg.

And before that, from 1998 to 2009 he served Vodafone in various capacities.

The 55-year-old who still serves as Vodacom’s governance director for Africa, attributes his success to self-discipline, learning from mistakes and moving on.

He draws inspiration from everyday events and people working around him. Ordinary people inspire him to be part of an agenda of transforming their lives for the better.

Mr Collymore loves arts, enjoys listening to good music and likes flying helicopters.

The man who hails from Guyana owes his debut in telecommunications to his mother. He says she pushed him into it.

Since joining Safaricom in November 2010, he has bought 908,000 shares in the company.

Mr Collymore has been instrumental in ensuring that the company maintains its position as the local market leader.

Latest results indicate that Safaricom reported a Sh11.3 billion pre-tax profit for the six-month period ending September 2013. Profit after tax increased by 45 per cent up from KSh11.5 billion over the same period in 2012.