Safaricom has announced the appointment of John Tombleson as finance director. Mr Tombleson was previously with Vodafone Qatar, where he held the position of acting CEO and CFO. He replaces Chris Tiffin, whose tour of duty at Safaricom comes to an end on November 20, 2011.

Tombleson is an original member of the Qatar start-up team which was founded in 2008 and has built a market share of 48% within 2 years.  He is a New Zealander and first joined Vodafone in New Zealand in 2003. He is a Board member of Vodafone Qatar, and was previously a Board member of Vodafone Fiji.

Mr Tombleson is expected to take up his new role in Kenya on November 7, and will work alongside Chris through to the end of that month to facilitate a smooth transition.

Meanwhile, Safaricom has apologized to its M-PESA customers following an outage that affected services for 3 hours from around 1222Hrs yesterday. The outage has since been fixed.

The outage was traced to a routing problem and affected all M-PESA handset transactions meaning that money transfers and other handset-based M-PESA services were not going through.

By 1445 Hrs yesterday, the situation had been reversed after traffic was re-routed. Even then, there were still intermittent delays caused by unfinished transactions still on the queue.