Naikuni, who recently left the helm of the national carrier, is also the chairman of Rift Valley Railways.
Christian de Faria, CEO of Airtel Africa, welcomed Naikuni to the board, saying his expertise will serve the telecommunication services company.
“We are pleased to have Naikuni on the board. His wealth of experience will add immense value to the board and provide strategic guidance to our operations in Kenya, to enable Airtel gain an important place in the Telecom sector in the country,” he said.
Naikuni joined Kenya Airways as CEO in 2003, from Magadi Soda Company (now Tata Chemicals Magadi).
In between his stint at Magadi, he served as a member of a team of World Bank sponsored Kenyan technocrats, known as the “Dream Team” who were engaged to turn around the Kenyan economy.
In this capacity he served as Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Information, Transport and Communications and was a member of the board of Kenya Airways during that period.
Naikuni is not new to the boardroom. He is currently a board member of Maersk Kenya Ltd, Access Kenya Ltd, East Africa Portland Cement Company, Precision Air Tanzania, deputy Chairman of Magadi Soda Company Ltd, a member of Lafarge International Advisory Board and Chancellor South Eastern Kenya University.
He has previously served on various company boards, including as a member of the board of Brunner Mond (South Africa), as Chairman of the Kenya Power & Lighting Company, Chairman of Housing Finance Company Limited, Board member of CFC Bank, Board member of Heritage Insurance, Board member of the Kenya Airways Group of Companies and on the IATA Board of Governors, amongst others.
Naikuni holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nairobi. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Management Development Programme and was awarded a Doctor of Science Engineering by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, an honorary award in recognition of his contribution to development.