NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – East Africa’s most profitable telecoms operator Safaricom PLC Thursday named Peter Ndegwa, Diageo PLC’s Managing Director of Continental Europe, its Chief Executive Officer effective April 2020.
Ndegwa will take over from Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph who has been the telco’s CEO under acting capacity since July, after the demise of Bob Collymore.
The late Collymore came to the helm of Safaricom in 2010, succeeding Joseph who had led the firm through several milestones including listing at the NSE and the establishment of M-Pesa.
Nicholas Nganga, the Chairperson of Safaricom’s board said the appointee has over two decades of experience in the financial services sector.
“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,” a statement announcing Ndegwa’s appointment read.
At Diageo, Peter oversees business operations in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Russia, the Middle East and North Africa region.
He was appointed to the role in July 2018, becoming the first African to run a large business for Diageo outside of Africa.
Prior to this Peter led two of Diageo’s biggest businesses on the continent, Guinness Ghana Breweries Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc.
He also worked in East African Breweries (EABL), a Diageo subsidiary based in Nairobi, as Strategy Director starting 2004.
“In this role, he led the NSE-listed beer manufacturer in shaping a five-year strategy. This included the development of an affordable beer strategy which saw the creation of Senator Keg. Senator keg has gone on to become one of Kenya’s and Diageo’s most iconic beer brands,” Ng’ang’a said in the company’s introduction letter.
The accountant, who has an MBA from the London Business School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi, also worked at PwC where he was the sales director between 2006 and 2008.
“In his career spanning over 25 years, Peter has demonstrated commitment to simplification of business process and on leadership and talent development has helped create a sustainable business for the future. This has not only resulted in a career decorated by new brands, but also winning accolades as an employer, manufacturer, purchaser and investor.”