Ex-Safaricom chief Michael Joseph nominated to join KQ board

Friday September 30 2016

Former Safaricom chief executive officer Michael Joseph. PHOTO | FILE

Former Safaricom chief executive officer Michael Joseph. PHOTO | FILE 

By BRIAN NGUGI, [email protected]

Former Safaricom chief executive Michael Joseph is set to join the board of troubled carrier Kenya Airways after shareholders voted on his nomination Thursday at the airline's Annual General Meeting (AGM).

His nomination for directorship is seen as an effort to inject fresh ideas to turn around the NSE-listed carrier.

The vote result is due October 5 this year and if voted in, Mr Joseph will replace Vincent Rague who is retiring and did not offer himself for re-election.

“His wealth of experience should he be voted in will come in handy for the airline especially at this time,” KQ chairman Denis Awori said of the former Safaricom chief executive.

Others directors who offered themselves for re-election include Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and his Transport counterpart, Irungu Nyakera.

The Kenya Airways’ board is made up of 12 members.

The government is the major shareholder with a 30 per cent stake.

During the AGM, some shareholders questioned Mr Joseph’s absence from the meeting despite offering himself for election.

“Is he really committed to being a director if he is not around here to introduce himself formally to us?” questioned one shareholder.

Mr Joseph, 70, is credited with having grown Safaricom from a nondescript unit of a former State corporation to the region’s most profitable company, impacting the lives of millions of Kenyans through telecommunication and money transfer services.

It is during his tenure as CEO that the telco's mobile phone-based money transfer service M-Pesa was launched, putting Kenya on the global map of financial services innovation.

He is currently in charge of mobile money at Vodafone, Safaricom’s biggest shareholder.

He also consults for the World Bank on matters regarding financial inclusivity in developing countries.

Mr Joseph was at one time appointed chancellor of Maseno University by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Effective December 2010, he was appointed Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board for a period of three years.