Safaricom drops Uhuru man John Ngumi as its board chair

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Safaricom has dropped President Uhuru Kenyatta’s top ally John Ngumi as its board chairman, six months after he took charge of East Africa’s most profitable company, in a fresh board shake-up seen to align the company with the new administration.

The telco yesterday revealed the resignation of Mr Ngumi, career banker who was handed chairman positions in cash rich parastatals in the previous administration, as a director of the company and consequently as chairman, effective December 22.

“In the brief period following his appointment to the board, John has provided a wealth of industry knowledge and vast expertise,”Safaricom said in a statement

“He has steered the company through a general election and supported the entrenchment of our purpose of transforming lives through our products and services as well as within the communities we serve,” Safaricom said.

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Ngumi is the immediate former Chairman of Kenya Pipeline Corporation Board and has chaired the Board of Konza Technopolis Development Authority.

He served as an inaugural director on the Board of Communications Commission of Kenya, now Communications Authority of Kenya, a regulator that oversaw the creation of Kenya’s present telecommunications landscape.

“Mr. Ngumi currently serves as Board Chair at the Industrial & Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), which is leading the effort to implement the Kenya Transport & Logistics Network, encompassing Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Pipeline Company Limited and Kenya Railways Corporation. He also serves on the board of Kenya Airways PLC,” read a notice from Safaricom when announcing Ngumi as its chair days after he run sponsored content on the Business Daily newspaper to push for his appointment.

While addressing shareholders at company’s AGM, Michael Joseph who Ngumi replace said he will represent the Government of Kenya on the Board of Safaricom. 

“John was appointed as a Director of Safaricom and elected Chairman of the Board at a Safaricom Board meeting held yesterday, July 28th, 2022.” said Michael at that time.

Mr. Ngumi holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, United Kingdom.

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