Cynthia Karuri-Kropac joins Safaricom as Chief Enterprise Business Officer

KENYASafaricom, a mobile network operator, has announced the appointment of Cynthia Karuri-Kropac as its Chief Enterprise Business Officer effective 1st September 2022.

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.

Following this, Safaricom named Joseph Wanjohi as the acting as the interim Chief Enterprise Business Officer from 1st June 2022.

“As we welcome Cynthia to the Safaricom family. I would also like to thank Joseph Wanjohi for his leadership and steering of the Enterprise Business team during the last 3 months,” Ndegwa added

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.

More than half of Safaricom’s executives have quit the telco over the past two years, allowing CEO Peter Ndegwa who replaced Bob Collymore in April 2020 to build his own team.

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.

This has allowed the firm to tap new skills in Kenya’s evolving telecoms market and shape the management in line with Mr Ndegwa’s strategy that seeks to maintain Safaricom’s profit trajectory.

Recent appointments at the firm point to a shift as the company targets new revenue streams and the growth of the mobile money platform.

Safaricom has been expanding its enterprise business unit over the last few months as it seeks to leverage its connectivity and experience to venture into the technology space.

The telco announced that it will now be offering cloud computing, cyber security and internet of things (IoT) solutions for its enterprise and public sector customers.

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.

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