John Ngumi quits Safaricom board chairmanship after 5-month stint

Safaricom's new Board Chairman John Ngumi.

Mr John Ngumi. He has resigned from his role as Safaricom board chairman. 

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Safaricom board chairman John Ngumi has resigned from the role after serving less than six months. 

According to a statement from the firm, a new board chairman will be named in the coming weeks. 

He was appointed to the key role in July last year, taking the reins from Michael Joseph on August 1. 

Following his appointment, Safaricom had locals at the helm for the first time in its history. He joined Peter Ndegwa, another Kenyan, who was appointed the Safaricom CEO in April 2020--marking the first time that the position and chairman were held by Kenyans concurrently.

The slots have always been occupied by a mix of a foreigner and a local due to the influence of foreign-based major shareholders.

Mr Ngumi came to the firm with a 35-year banking career under his belt, having worked with both local and international corporates that have an East African regional presence, state-owned enterprises, sovereigns and financial services grasps.

He has also served on the boards of Kenya Airways and the Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

In the notice, Safaricom also announced the appointment of Adil Arshed Khawaja as a non-executive director.

"He is recognised as a leading name in the Kenyan legal profession and has been globally recognised in various practice groups as one of the most sought-after lawyers in Kenya," the firm said. 

Additional report by Daniel Ogetta