Nairobi News


How Collymore steered Safaricom to unparalleled growth

On Monday, Kenyans woke up to news of the demise of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, who passed on at his Nairobi home after a long battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare form of cancer that is curable at its first stages.

Until his death, Collymore had been at the helm of the telecommunications giant for more than 12 years.

He had initially been meant to retire in August 2019 but his tenure was extended by one year to 2020.

During his time at Safaricom, Collymore helped build the company to become one of the most profitable in the region through the popular mobile money transfer service M-Pesa.


Over the years, the M-Pesa service have maintained the company’s top performance.

Safaricom’s share price increased tremendously by more than 400 percent to 28.00 shillings ($0.28) during Collymore’s tenure.

Between 2015 to 2019, Safaricom customers grew from 19 million to 30 million subscribers.

As of December 2018 Safaricom controlled approximately 64.2 percent of the Kenyan telcos market share.


Under Collymore leadership, Safaricom announced a growth in net profit of Sh63.4 billion in its fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2019. This was an increase of 14.7 per cent compared to last year’s Sh45.1 billion.

During the same period, the company also saw its total revenue increase by 7% to Sh240.3 billion.

Safaricom’s latest product Fuliza issued Sh6.2 billion in one month of his operation. Fuliza is a micro-credit product that was launched on January 5, 2019, in partnership with two banks – CBA and KCB.

According to Collymore, more than 20 million Kenyans access the product on a daily basis.