The Man Behind Safaricom’s New Face Is No More

By  |  July 1, 2019

Telco giant Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore has passed on this morning at his home after a long battle with cancer.

“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing away of Robert (Bob) William Collymore, CEO of Safaricom Plc, which occurred at his home in the morning of 1st July 2019,” Safaricom announced in a statement.

“He had been undergoing treatment for this condition since then in different hospitals and most recently at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. In recent weeks, his condition worsened,” the statement said.

Collymore who is a Guyanese-born British citizen took a medical leave in October 2017 to fight Acute Myloid Leukemia (AML). He resumed work in July of 2018 but has been travelling in and out of the country seeking treatment.

Earlier, the Safaricom boss had announced that he would resign from his post as the CEO but later on his contract with the telco was extended to 2020. “I am not going anywhere. I will be here for another one year till 2020,” Mr Collymore said at that time.

“On behalf of the Board of Safaricom, we extend our deepest condolences to his family, staff, partners and the nation at large who he served selflessly with joy,” company’s Board Chairperson Nicholas Nganga said.

Since Collymore joined the Westlands-headquartered company in 2010, Safaricom has been recording growth in terms of revenue. He has been instrumental in leading the company to profitability and has seen it grow to become East Africa’s most profitable firm.

The telco reported a 14.7 per cent increase in net profits standing at USD 619 Mn for its financial year ending March 2019. Revenue growth was felt from all their products ranging from M-Pesa to voice service and even messaging service.

President Kenyatta, the Deputy President have eulogized Collymore as a distinguished corporate titan and leader. Kenyans on social media have expressed their condolences to the family and to Safaricom as well.

Telecommunication company Telkom has also mourned Collymore and eulogised him as “a steadfast colleague, visionary and mentor whose foresight has earned Kenya’s Telco industry a place on the global map.”

Collymore, 61, has left behind his wife Wambui Kamiru Collymore and four children.

Featured Image Courtesy: Twitter

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