Cynthia joins Safaricom from US telco AT&T, where she has been the Senior Director, Enterprise Mobile and IoT Technologies, since 2019. Her career at AT&T. spanned 19 years, having held various management and leadership roles.
“With over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications sector, Cynthia has a wealth of knowledge in various crafts, including business strategy, industrial IoT, enterprise technology solutions, executive advisory and decision support, operational excellence and process reengineering,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said in a statement.
Cynthia takes over from Kris Senanu who left the company in June 2022. Kris joined Safaricom in June 2021 from Telkom Kenya where he served as the Managing Director in the Digital Service Delivery Unit.
She holds a Bachelor of Finance from the University of Toledo, Ohio, and an MBA in Finance and International Business from Kent State University, Ohio.
Ms Karuri joins other new faces that have taken executive roles in the company in the last two years as the telco aims to enter new ventures to offset declining voice revenues.
Eight executives occupying the 11 C-suite seats at Safaricom have left during the period under review for roles outside the firm or at British Vodafone and South Africa’s Vodacom—which have a combined 40 percent stake in the Kenyan company.
Recent appointments at the firm point to a shift as the company targets new revenue streams and the growth of the mobile money platform.
Besides reinforcing its new business strategy to become a technology company, the telco said it is banking on these recent efforts to enable it to play a bigger role in digitizing and transforming businesses in various sectors including education, health and manufacturing.
The telco is seeking regulatory approvals to launch insurance, unit trust and savings products as it races for a larger piece of the financial services market and taps more earnings from mobile money platform M-Pesa.