KENYA – The Safaricom PLC Board of Directors has appointed Mr Peter Ndegwa as the company’s Chief Executive Officer effective April 1, 2020.

He joins Safaricom from Diageo PLC where he is the Managing Director of Diageo Continental Europe.

Mr Ndegwa has spent over 25 years in various roles within the financial services and fast-moving consumer goods sectors in Africa and Europe.

In his current role, Peter oversees the operations of Diageo PLC in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa region. He had previously served for seven years as CEO in Guinness Nigeria PLC and Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC.

Prior to Diageo, Peter served for eight years across a range of senior Executive Director roles at EABL (a Diageo subsidiary) based in Nairobi.

He served as the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Group Strategy Director, Sales Director, and as an Executive Director on the EABL Board, he was part of the team that saw the EABL business more than doubled in value – and winning the coveted Most Respected Business Award in East Africa for five years in a row.

He started his career at PwC, the global consulting firm, where he worked for 11 years.

“Peter brings a wealth of experience in General Management, Commercial and Business Strategy, Sales and Finance Operations, having spent over 25 years in various roles within the Financial Services and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors in Africa and Europe,” Safaricom said in a statement by Chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a.

Ndegwa will take over from Michael Joseph who made a comeback in an acting capacity at the helm of the telco in July following the death of Bob Collymore.

Joseph, a South African-born American, served as the first Safaricom CEO for 10 years before retiring.

Collymore, passed in June after battling cancer. The late Collymore had himself took over from Joseph as Safaricom CEO in November 2010.

“We are confident that Peter will carry on our vision of transforming lives while keeping us focused on meeting our customers’ needs and holding us to our new commitment of being simple, transparent and honest,” the statement from Safaricom read.

Mr Ndegwa will take over the reins of a wildly successful company that has massive revenues, profits and currently has the highest market capitalization at the Nairobi Stocks Exchange. He will be tasked with being the face of the company that has over 31 million subscribers and has a huge impact on the Kenyan economy.

Peter holds an MBA from the London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).