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Stop judging Safaricom’s new CEO based on his tribe, Michael Joseph says

By Hilary Kimuyu October 27th, 2019 2 min read

Michael Joseph, who is serving in an interim capacity as Safaricom CEO, has critisised Kenyans who have played the tribal card on the appointment of the company’s new CEO.

He dismissed a section of Kenyans who only saw the ethnicity of Peter Ndegwa following his appointment on Thursday making him the company’s first Kenyan CEO.

“Many people talk. It is unfortunate for Kenya that we always look at the tribal affiliation of somebody hired to lead a multi-national corporation. They debate whether he would be influenced politically or not. I think it is very unfortunate that that is the trademark of Kenyans in general,” said Joseph during an interview on K24.

A section of the critics, who were quick to point out Ndegwa’s ethnicity, speculated that he could be influenced by Kenyan politicians into playing the tribal card while running Safaricom.

“I think Ndegwa won’t be influenced by Kenya’s politics. I think it was time Safaricom, as a Kenyan company, hired a native as its CEO. It was unfortunate that we did not choose somebody internally at this point,” Joseph added.


Others also speculated that the new CEO would run down the multi-billion telco.

However, Joseph, is the current Chairman of Kenya Airways, holds a different view.

“I don’t believe in that stuff that a Kenyan CEO would run down Safaricom. I think the Kenyan we have has the necessary integrity and maturity to do the right thing for Safaricom as a company, its shareholders, and Kenya in general. I think it is the right move politically and professionally to have a Kenyan at the helm of Safaricom,” he said.

The appointment of Peter Ndegwa, who joins the telco from Diageo PLC where he is the Managing Director of Diageo Continental Europe, was made by Safaricom’s Board of Directors.