By Prudence Minayo
The demise of charismatic ex-CEO of safaricom, Bob Colymore, increased pressure to elect a new Kenyan CEO. Even the government expressed its wish to have a Kenyan lead Safaricom and finally, on April 1, 2020 Peter Ndegwa was appointed, making him the first Kenyan to be at the helm of the giant telcos. Jemimah, his wife, took to Facebook to pen a sweet congratulatory message to him;
“ I have experienced personally the long hours and your commitment to self and others to achieve great things. You have taken risks – going to challenging markets but the experience you have gained, sets you apart. I know, just as has been the case, integrity and humility will continue to be a trademark in this new role.” She added that his family will continue supporting and praying for him because promotion only comes from God.
Today, Despite the covid-19 pandemic, Peter takes the mantle from Michael Joseph as the new safaricom boss. He said ;
“ It is time to serve my country. There are two things that I value most, and that is humility and integrity, integrity is about doing what you say and humility is knowing that there is always something more you can do.”
The new safaricom boss is an alumni of Starehe Boys High School, Nairobi. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Nairobi University before proceeding to the London Business School for his MBA. The CEO of the most profitable company in Kenya is also a certified public accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).
The 51-year-old is married to Jemimah and they have a young boy called Ryan. In a 2015 interview with Business Daily, he commends his wife for sacrificing so much because he never leaves his family behind for a job. They always travel together.
Upon completing his MBA, he took key assignments in project management and corporate advisory at leading European and American banks and insurance companies.
In 1996, he relocated to London, and became a consultant at the global consulting firm PwC, under the firm’s talent development program. 3 years later, he transitioned from the accountancy practice to the consulting and corporate finance unit at PwC.
In 2002, he relocated to Kenya and worked in the financial service sector on corporate advisory assignments, such as, valuation, significant project leadership and management, valuation, strategic transaction advice and financial planning and management.
In 2004, he joined East Africa Breweries limited (EABL), a subsidiary of Diageo in Nairobi where he served as a sales director, chief financial officer, strategy director and executive director. Mr. Ndegwa showed his innovative skills when he spearheaded the invention of senator Keg, an affordable beer brand. Senator Keg has become one of the most successful Diageo beer brands, and was even featured in the Harvard Business Review. The expert businessman was also part of significant development agendas including the acquisition of Serengeti Breweries Limited, a major Tanzanian subsidiary, and unwounding a complex shareholder with SAB Miller, now ABI, in Kenya and Tanzania. For 5 consecutive years, he won a coveted most respected business award in East Africa.
In 2011, he was sent to Guinness Ghana plc where he worked till 2015 as the CEO. Then later in Guinness Nigeria plc.
The decorated businessman has been the managing director of Diageo Continental Europe. In this role, he has been overseeing business in over 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa.