The month of July 2019 came with sad news for many Kenyans and staff of Safaricom.
News broke this morning that the Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore died this morning in his Nairobi home.
According to reports, the renowned entrepreneur had taken a medical leave from active service in October 2017 to fight cancer.
"He has been undergoing treatment for his condition since then in different hospitals and most recently at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi.
“In recent weeks, his condition worsened and he succumbed to cancer at his home in the early hours of Monday," Safaricom chairman Nicholas Ng'ang' a has said in a statement after the CEOs death was announced at the early hours of today.
Mr. Collymore has been the head of East and Central Africa's biggest telco services provider, which recently declared a record Sh63.4 billion profit, since he took over from Michael Joseph in November 2010.
It is well known that current Kenyan president; Uhuru Kenyatta is a very close friend to Bob Collymore. So, it was not surprising to see the president among the personalities who mourned the late Safaricom CEO and expressed sadness at his demise.
"It is with deep sadness that I have this morning received news of the death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore after years of battling cancer. As a country, we've lost a distinguished corporate leader whose contribution to our national well-being will be missed," President Kenyatta said in a tweet this morning.
You will recall that in December 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Collymore as a member of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board for a three-year term.
Mr. Bob Collymore is survived by a wife and four children.
The firm, Safaricom Plc has confirmed the news in a statement released about an hour ago.
“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,” the firm said in a statement.
Despite battling cancer, Bob Collymore, now 61 years old, had said he would stay in his position for an extra year.
He was due to step down in August after nine years at the helm, during which time Safaricom’s share price rose by more than 400%.
According to reports, the appointment of his successor was delayed as the Kenyan government, which owns 35% of the company, has insisted that a local is picked to succeed him.
He will be greatly missed but his legacy will live on.
Header Image Credit: CIO East Africa