Safaricom PLC Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Joseph has finally explained why he was picked to fill in the late Bob Collymore’s shoes.
His statement comes following mixed reactions among Kenyans on social media as many citizens questioned why the company’s board did not settle on a Kenyan national to take up the position.
Speaking during an interview with K24 TV on Tuesday evening, Michael noted that he was selected because the officials currently serving in various senior capacities at the company and whom many Kenyans feel should have been promoted are not ready to fill in Collymore’s shoes at the moment.
Read: Michael Joseph Appointed Interim Safaricom CEO
Joseph affirmed: “At this point, we (board) thought that none of them was ready for the role today.”
He further noted that the position is not strange for him displaying confidence in being capable to steer the company in the right path.
“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.
Read also: Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore Is Dead
“It’s not something new for me, I’m not having to start afresh, I’m well prepared for the role, but I must emphasize it is temporary,” he asserted.
Joseph went ahead to note that the search for Bob’s successor, whose initial term was to end in August 2019, commenced 18 months ago but stalled due to demand and pressure from various corners.
He mentioned: “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.
Read also: Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore To Be Laid To Rest Tomorrow In Private Ceremony
“And because there was some question about that, we decided to put it on hold for a while, and that’s why we asked Bob to stay for another year while we thought about how we could do it,” he told.
The announcement of him replacing Bob elicited mixed reactions as Kenyans expressed that Sylvia Mulinge deserved to fill up the position.
A section of Kenyans on Twitter have expressed their opinions that Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer at Safaricom since November 2018, should have been offered the position.
Here are some of their reactions:
I said before Bob Collymore's term was renewed, SYLVIA MULINGE is ripe to take up the helm of leadership at Safaricom PLC. She has her shortfalls, she's human. Let Michael JOSEPH induct her for the new challenge! pic.twitter.com/OdEucYimtj
— Kipkirui Arap Korir (@Segem_Junior) July 2, 2019
Michael Joseph isn’t a transformative leader. He was at the right place at the right time as 1st CEO of Safaricom.. MJ has neither charisma nor humility of Bob Collymore .. His failure to turn around Kenya Airways shows his ability .. Sylvia Mulinge deserves to be appointed CEO.
— Donald B Kipkorir (@DonaldBKipkorir) July 2, 2019
I won't buy Safaricom Airtime until Sylvia Mulinge is appointed as the CEO. It is about time we support our own. Michael Joseph is a step back
— Kenfrey Katui™ (@KenfreyKatui) July 2, 2019
Michael Joseph's appointment is a step back.🙄
Surely Sylvia mulinge deserved this chance to prove herself…
— ping pong official 🇰🇪 (@pauliddiali) July 2, 2019
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“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.”
This is how Museveni told the opposition Besigye and company in Uganda when they showed thirst for his powerful seat!