Safaricom appoints John Ngumi as director & chairman of the firm’s board

Kenya’s banking sector trailblazer John Ngumi has been named Safaricom’s Board Chairman effective from August 1 replacing the incumbent Michael Joseph.

The appointment adds to a growing list of roles landed by the career banker who presently chairs the board of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

Ngumi served as the inaugural Board Chair at Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA) and has also served as the Board Chair at the Kenya Pipeline Company Limited (KPC)

Presently, John Ngumi also sits on the board of Kenya Airways (KQ) as a non-executive director following an appointment done earlier this month.

He replaces Michael Joseph who was appointed as Safaricom’s Board Chair in August 2020.

The exiting Joseph has also served two stints as Safaricom Chief Executive Officer and was the company’s first CEO serving for a decade between July 2000 and November 2010.

Michael Joseph would return to the helm of the telco in July 2019 following the demise of former CEO Bob Collymore serving until March 31, 2020, when he handed over leadership to current CEO Peter Ndegwa.

The end of Michael Joseph’s stint as board Chair seemingly marks his transition from the company he helped found at the turn of the Century.

Michael Joseph is currently the Chair of Kenya Airways Board having recently landed a new three-term that will see him serve until 2025.

The incoming John Ngumi is credited with a number of key financial transactions in the region including leading the issuance of Kenya’s first New York Stock Exchange (NSE) listed bond in 1989.

In 2001, Ngumi was the lead arranger of a Ksh.4 billion Safaricom bond that helped the infant telco finance its infrastructure rollout.

Previously, John Ngumi has worked for leading global banks including Stanbic Bank (formerly Grindlays Bank), Citibank and Barclays.

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