John Ngumi has resigned as the chair of the board of directors at Safaricom, after less than a five-month stint in the role.
He replaced Michael Joseph, who had previously led the company to become the top telecommunications company in Kenya.
Joseph left the company in 2010 and was replaced by Bob Collymore. Following Collymore’s passing in 2019, Joseph returned to the CEO position on an interim basis.
The company then appointed Peter Ndegwa as CEO in 2020. Joseph returned to the company a few months later as board chair after the retirement of long-serving chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a.
Joseph was later replaced by Ngumi in July 2022. It had also been speculated that Ngumi was on his way out because he rarely made appearances at Safaricom’s key events, such as the Ethiopia launch and the commercial launch of 5G.
However, he made his first and only appearance and presentation during the announcement of the carrier’s investor briefing in November 2022.
John Ngumi is a well-respected banker in Kenya, known for his 35-year career in corporate and investment banking in East Africa.
He has worked with local and international companies with a regional presence in East Africa, state-owned enterprises, sovereigns, and financial service groups.
Ngumi has extensive experience as a director, including positions in both private companies and state-owned enterprises, such as serving as the inaugural board chair at the Konza Technopolis Development Authority and as an active and effective board chair at the Kenya Pipeline Company.
Despite his departure from Safaricom, Ngumi currently serves as board chair at the Industrial & Commercial Development Corporation, which is leading the effort to implement the Kenya Transport & Logistics Network, and is also on the board of Kenya Airways.
The reason for his departure from Safaricom has not been disclosed.