Safaricom restructures tech business, Rita Okuthe exits

Safaricom chief enterprise business officer Rita Okuthe at a past function.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Safaricom has merged the Information Technology and Network departments and appointed a Chief Technology and Information Officer to head the new department.
  • Safaricom’s chief enterprise business officer Rita Okuthe to exit after she was appointed chairperson of Kenya Pipeline Company.

  • The company is also sourcing for a Head of Productivity and Director, Fixed Business.

Safaricom has announced key structural changes to its business to focus on technology as it hopes to cement its relevance in the Kenyan market, including the creation of new positions.

In a memo sent to staff, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa announced that the telco has merged the Information Technology and Network departments to form the Technology and Information Organisation department, which will be led by Morten Bangsgaard as Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO).

Mr Bangsgaard’s appointment takes effect from January 1, 2021. He joins Safaricom from Maxis, a Malaysia-based communications provider, where he worked in the same capacity.

“To provide our customers with the best in class fibre connectivity, whether at home (FTTH) or in business (FTTB) and address the current pain points, I have converged the FTTH and FTTB roles to Fixed (FTTX) Business Unit that will be led by Director, Fixed Business reporting directly to me and joins the Exco,” Mr Ndegwa said in the Tuesday statement.

He also announced that the telco had relieved its Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Rita Okuthe, of her role after she was appointed to chair the Kenya Pipeline Company, as well as being named a member of the ICDC board this year.

“To allow her to give more attention to the two appointments, Rita will be leaving Safaricom on 30th November 2020,” he said.

Ms Okuthe has been at Safaricom for 11 years since she joined the company as Head of Consumer Propositions in 2009, a position she served until 2015 when she was appointed to her current role.

“She is a Trustee of the Safaricom Foundation and sits on the Boards of M-Tiba, Digifarm and Mezzanine. Rita will continue to perform her role as a Trustee of the Safaricom Foundation,” the CEO said.

Joseph Wanjohi will take up her role in an acting capacity from December, as the company kicks off a search for a substantive replacement. Mr Wanjohi has been Head of Enterprise Sales at Safaricom since 2017.

The company is also sourcing for a Head of Productivity and Director, Fixed Business, with two positions to fill.

The company says the Head of Productivity, who will report to the Chief Finance Officer, will help it spend more in funding additional initiatives, as it targets to generate 24 per cent share of growth from new business by 2022.

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