Michael Joseph Comes Clean on Reason Behind Interim Appointment

  • Safaricom's Interim CEO Michael Joseph File
  • New Safaricom interim boss, Michael Joseph came clean on the reason why he was recalled to steer the ship after the sad demise of the former CEO, Bob Collymore.

    Speaking during an interview on K24 Tuesday evening, Michael reiterated that he was handpicked because senior officials at the company were not ready to step up to the plate and fill the late Collymore's enormous shoes.

    "At this particular point we as the board felt that none of them was ready for this role today," he affirmed.

    Safaricom headquarters in Westlands Nairobi

    He went on to state that taking over the reins at the company where he made his name was second nature to him.

    “Safaricom has always been my company, it’s always been my baby; I nurtured it up to when I handed over to Bob. Now I’m just looking after it for a while, like a grandparent looking after the grandchild, until we appoint somebody else,” he asserted.

    However, he was quick to point out that his role was temporary, adding that the board had been hunting for Collymore's successor for the past 18 months as the late CEO's tenure was set to end in August 2019.

    “It’s not something new for me, I’m not having to start afresh, I’m well prepared for the role, but I must emphasise it is temporary," Joseph maintained.

    MJ (as he is popularly known) also revealed that the debate as to whether Collymore's successor should be Kenyan or not was the reason why the board had decided to extend the late CEO's tenure for one more year.

    “It was a worldwide search, including people in Kenya. And eventually, we came to a very short list, we came to a decision but we didn’t execute it because there was a concern as to whether the successor to Bob should be a Kenyan or not,” he divulged.

    The new interim boss gave a solemn look as he described his close relationship with the late Collymore, that went well beyond the cliche business-themed high-level friendships.

    “We spent a lot of time together, much more than when he was CEO and we would just talk about the company. I spent hours with him talking about life, death, and we became very close,” a sombre Michael confessed.

    Michael Joseph (l) and the late Bob Collymore exchange a hearty moment at a past function