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Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa responds to exit speculations

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa responds to speculations that he’s leaving the telecommunication company.

Speaking on Thursday, January 26 on Citizen TV, Ndegwa stated that the decision can only be made by the Safaricom board. 

This comes on the back of speculation that the senior leadership of the telecommunications company is seeking to replace him, citing depressed growth under his tenure.

In the Financial Year that ended March 31, 2022, Safaricom saw its profits dip by 1.7 percent to close the year with a net profit of Sh67.49 billion, down from Sh68.7 billion the previous year.

Asked whether he felt his stay at the helm of Safaricom was no longer tenable, owing to the slowed financial progress, Ndegwa said he is confident that he’ll be allowed to lead the firm longer because of his “very successful three years”.

“There is social media speculation, you know when you run a business of the size of Safaricom, just like a football team, there will always be views about what is happening to the manager, the captain, and so on.

“But, from where I stand, the decisions about my role are usually for the board, and now that we have a new Chairman I’m sure it is a question that can be asked both to the Board and the Chairman,” he stated.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safaricom PLC Peter Ndegwa expressed confidence in his ability to steer the giant telco longer than some people would estimate.

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Ndegwa at the same time stated that Safaricom is a resilient company but noted that there will be challenges in 2023. 

He attributed the weakened performance to Ethiopia’s entry, post-Covid-19 effects, a battered global economy, and increased operating costs.

” Safaricom is the largest and most successful business in the region. It is a business that serves every adult in this country. It is actually a much more resilient business.” He said

“Mpesa is the barometer of how the economy is doing… Looking at 2023, I think we are still going to have a challenging year; the worst is not over,” Ndegwa stated.” Ndegwa added.

He further noted that taking the company operations to Ethiopia is a big milestone.

“We’ve run the company very well, we’ve gone into Ethiopia, which is a major milestone for this business, we’ve launched 5G…I plan to continue playing the role that I’ve played for the future,” he stated. 

Meanwhile, Safaricom on Thursday unanimously elected Lawyer Adil Arshed Khawaja as the new Safaricom Board Chairman effectively immediately, replacing perceived former President Uhuru Kenyatta ally John Ngumi who resigned early this year after serving for barely 6 months. 

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