Safaricom chief executive Peter Ndegwa has tweaked the telco’s top management, eight months into the job, as he consolidates a team to help deliver his vision of turning the firm into a tech business.
The reorganisation will see two new members, both technology-oriented, join Safaricom’s executive committee (exco) with two others possibly edged out, among a raft of changes as Ndegwa establishes a grip of the corner officer.
This is part of several moves that will see employees, both old and new, change roles as Ndegwa tries to fit into the giant shoes of fore-bearers who moulded the telco into a Sh1.2 trillion corporate giant.
His choice of executive committee which comprises a clique of top managers whose title typically begins with the word chief, for instance, Chief Finance Officer will greatly inform his performance.
A letter from the CEO to employees, merged the Information Technology and Network departments into one with the head of the new unit joining the Safaricom exco.
Ndegwa said to deliver on the firm’s strategy and performance ambition, one key differentiator will be in the technology space.
“In line with this intent, I have merged Information Technology and Network departments to form Technology and Information Organisation that will be led by the Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO),” he added.
Morten Bangsgaard, the current Chief Technology and Information Officer at Malaysian telco, Maxis Berhad, will take up the position beginning January 1, according to Ndegwa’s announcement.
With this new arrangement, it is highly unlikely that the current Chief Information Officer, a position currently held by George Njuguna, will continue sitting at the exco.
It is also not clear whether Sitoyo Lopokoiyot, formerly the company’s Chief Financial Services Officer, will continue sitting in the exco after he was appointed the M-Pesa Chief executive.
M-Pesa was acquired from Vodafone by a joint venture formed by Safaricom and Vodacom in April.
Also merged are Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Business (FTTB) departments under the Fixed Business Unit (FTTX). This unit will be led by the Director, Fixed Business, also a member of the exco and reporting directly to the CEO.
Additionally, Ndegwa created a new position, Head of Productivity, whose main role will be to mainstream continuous cost optimisation across the company, reporting to the Chief Financial Officer
“This role will help us drive more savings in our operations to fund additional initiatives to meet our objectives to generate 24 per cent share of growth from new business by the end of financial year 2022,” he said.
Both Director Fixed Business and Head of Productivity positions are yet to be filled.
Joseph Wanjohi has been appointed the interim Chief Enterprise Business Officer, beginning December 1, as the firm commences the process of recruiting a substantive holder for the top managerial position.
The position fell vacant following the imminent exit of Rita Okuthe who was appointed the Chairperson of Kenya Pipeline Company and a board member of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation in August and will be leaving Safaricom on November 30.
These recent appointments follows the appointment of Dilip Pal, the immediate former CFO at DTAC, a Thai telco, who joined on November 1 as Safaricom’s new Chief Finance Officer.
Pal replaced Illana Darcy who had been holding the position in acting capacity since July 1 following the departure of Sateesh Kamath after he was promoted to Vodafone Business CFO.
Since he took charge in April, Ndegwa has made several changes with a preference for having key employees report directly to him, and even attending exco meetings, a departure from the firm’s normal reporting structure.
The CEO has called a meeting tomorrow where it is expected that he could announce more changes.