After 17 years at the helm of service, Safaricom’s chief of special projects and the acting chief business development and strategy officer Joe Ogutu will be retiring at the end of April.
Mr Ogutu has served under all Safaricom CEOs from Michael Joseph, Bob Collymore and now Peter Ndegwa taking on various roles during his time in office.
Mr Ogutu has been the chairman of Safaricom Foundation since 2012 and his tenure at the helm of the region’s most profitable business involved steering the telco alongside former CFO, Sateesh Kamath, when late CEO Bob Collymore was on medical leave.
Among other highlights, Mr Ogutu is credited with championing reforms in Kenya’s telecommunications sector as well as setting up the institutional framework for the East Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy).
EASSy is a 10,000km submarine cable system along the east coast of Africa, with nine landing stations in Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa, and offers a backhaul system for at least 12 landlocked countries, enabling wide network coverage in the East African region.
“Over the last 2 years, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Joe and I have come to rely on his advice, candid feedback, and support,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said in an update.
Mr Ogutu joined Safaricom in May 2005 as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. In 2008, he was appointed to serve as Chief Human Resource Officer before taking on the role of director–resources, following a reorganization in March 2011.
In October 2012, he was appointed Director – Strategy & Innovation, where he worked closely with the CEO in formulating the strategic direction of the business with a focus on developing Safaricom’s position as an industry leader in driving innovation in products and services.
Mr Ndegwa, however, said Mr Ogutu will continue serving as the Chairman of Safaricom Foundation where he has been instrumental in driving partnerships that transform the lives of millions of people and enable communities to be self-sufficient.
Throughout his career, and indeed the 17 years he has been at Safaricom, Joe has built a reputation as an outstanding business leader, mentor, and coach to many; qualities that we at Safaricom have benefitted greatly from, added the CEO.
“The hallmark of Joe’s career and contribution to the success of Safaricom was his absolute willingness to step into an unexpected role whenever requested, even if it meant stretching his workload tremendously,” explained Mr Ndegwa.