According to a source who spoke with Reuters, Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore “wants to concentrate on his health so he did not wish to renew his contract”.
So far, the government’s insistence is that a Kenyan take his place although the announcement of his successor has been delayed.
According to a Gazette notice of May 6 by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki Safaricom chief executive, Bob Collymore will be among four people appointed as members of the National Cancer Institute board to serve for the next three years.
Mr Collymore, the British boss of the East and Central Africa region’s biggest telco services provider will work alongside Kenya Network of Cancer Organisations (KENCO) chairperson David Makumi and Mercy Oburu, the Digital Content Manager at Royal Media Services, which owns Citizen TV and a number of radio stations.
Bob Collymore has helped to build Safaricom into East Africa’s most profitable company, thanks to the popular mobile money transfer service M-Pesa and a growing customer base.
However, he took a nine-month medical leave in late 2017 to return to his native England to battle cancer and has now indicated he wants to step down.
During his tenure, Safaricom’s share price has increased by more than 400 per cent to 28.00 shillings ($0.28). He has also led the charge against regulatory efforts to clip the company’s wings due to its dominant size.
Safaricom, which is 35 percent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, controls about 62 percent of Kenya’s mobile market, with 30 million subscribers. Britain’s Vodafone has a 5 percent stake and the Kenyan government 35 percent.
Private investors also own shares via the Nairobi bourse.