UPDATED - Safaricom hunts for key staff

Safaricom building on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi. Photo/FILE

Mobile phone operator Safaricom has launched a talent search to fill senior executive positions left vacant following the recent restructuring.

A search for a new technical director will now go external while director for marketing and customer service will be first sought internally.

On Thursday, chief executive officer Bob Collymore said they will in the next few days announce an interim head of technical as it headhunts for a substantive appointee, who is likely to come from "outside the organisation".

“Safaricom will start the process of recruiting a director of marketing and customer service from the existing talent  pool within the organisation,” Mr Collymore said. “If the process does not produce the right fit, Safaricom will look outside the organisation but within Kenya.”

The vacant positions include general manager for enterprise, director of technical and information technology, director of marketing and customer service and executive business analyst.

In the meantime, however, the positions will be held by serving employees on an interim basis. “We redefined chief technical officer role and added more responsibilities,” Mr Collymore in an interview. “Our internal assessment found nobody who measured up to take up the role.”

Mr Collymore said the position is demanding at a time when technology is evolving fast and so needs someone with an understanding of changing global trends.

“Safaricom is growing and adding more new technologies and we need talent to drive this agenda,” he said. He said Safaricom would hire an expert to develop local talent.

Top Management

On Wednesday Mr Collymore, seconded by Vodafone, filled a number of top management positions he had created two weeks ago, which saw the exit of Mr John Barorot, the firm’s chief technical officer and Mr Robert Mugo, the chief information officer.

“I’m confident that in the next few years we will have a Kenyan heading the technical department,” he said. The new structure, known as Safaricom 2.0, will be supported by a strategy focusing more on customers as opposed to innovations, which the firm has been riding on for the last 10 years.

The team is divided into three revenue centres including financial services, consumers and enterprise business. Each department will be responsible for financial performance, as well as accountability of operations. Under the new structure Mr Peter Arina becomes the general manager in charge of consumer business, Ms Betty Mwangi general manager financial services and Mr Chris Tiffin director in charge of financials.

Mr Joe Ogutu becomes director of resources, Mr Ivor Wekesa, director risk management and Mr Nzioka Waita, director of legal, regulatory and external affairs.

  • EDITOR’S NOTE – This story has been updated after Safaricom pointed out that, contrary to our earlier report, Mr Collymore had not said that three key positions would be filled by experts from Vodafone. He had said in the interview that the positions would be advertised externally if an internal search failed..