Michael Joseph: Why He Resigned from Safaricom after 23 Years

Former CEO of Safaricom PLC, Michael Joseph, stepped down from his position.


Michael Joseph asserts that his resignation was a voluntary decision.

He clarified that he was not pushed out but chose to leave the board willingly.

Michael Joseph, Former CEO Safaricom
Michael Joseph, Former CEO Safaricom. Photo| Courtesy

Ethiopian Focus

Joseph’s main reason for resigning from Safaricom’s board is to dedicate his attention to the Ethiopian branch.

Joseph currently holds the role of board chairman and advisor to the CEO. Consequently, he aims to provide focused leadership and guidance to the company’s operations in Ethiopia.


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Years of Dedicated Service

Michael Joseph retired from Safaricom at the age of 77. Thus marking the end of his 23-year tenure with the company.

He was notably the founding CEO of Safaricom from 2000 to 2010. Following the passing of Bob Collymore he later served as interim CEO from July 2019 to March 2020

Joseph’s resignation took effect on August 1, 2023. He not only stepped down from his position as board chairman but also relinquished his role as board director.

This decision comes a year after he resigned from his position as board chairman.

Changes in Leadership

Following John Ngumi’s brief tenure as Joseph’s successor, Adil Khawaja was elected as Chairman in January.

Evidently, Joseph’s departure comes in the wake of significant changes in the company’s leadership structure. In February, Safaricom welcomed Ory Okolloh and Karen Kandie to the board.

These two were simultaneously appointed as independent director and alternate director to the Treasury Cabinet Secretary, respectively.

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Additionally, Joseph emphasized the need for Safaricom to foster stronger board participation in shaping strategic decisions and exploring business prospects. He believes that a robust board is crucial for the company’s growth and success.

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Having stepped down as chairman, Joseph revealed that he has been nominated as a director of Vodacom. He certainly believes that his replacement at Safaricom would likely emerge from Vodacom.

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Addressing Recent Challenges

Joseph acknowledged that Safaricom had experienced subdued earnings recently.

He attributed this to the risks associated with the company’s expansion into Ethiopia, rather than any underlying issues within the core business fundamentals.


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