Safaricom PLC’s Company Secretary Kathryne Maundu resigns | Linda Wambani takes over

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Safaricom’s Company Secretary Ms Kathryne Maundu has stepped down from her role effective September 30th 2023 after seven years working at East Africa’s biggest telecommunications firm.

According to the Company’s Board Chairperson Adil Khawaja in a statement, “Kathryn has served in the Board and its various committees for more than seven years. During this period, she has supported the Board in the implementation of its mandate in line with the laws and regulations in Kenya and the process has earned the Board’s trust and appreciation.”

“The Board takes this opportunity to thank Kathryne for her dedicated service, sound advice and commitment to Safaricom over the years, and wishes her the very best for the future,” Khawaja added.

The Safaricom Board didn’t take long to make a decision.

Katherine

“The Board is also pleased to announce the appointment (subject to regulatory approval) of Ms. Linda Mesa Wambani as the acting Company Secretary of Safaricom PLC with effect from 1st October 2023,” it announced in a statement.

Ms. Linda Mesa Wambani, Safaricom PLC’s Senior Legal Counsel and a senior advocate with 19 years of experience, is now the new acting Company Secretary of Safaricom PLC with effect from 1st October 2023. Linda is Safaricom PLC’s immediate Senior Legal Counsel where she was providing legal support for Safaricom PLC, the M-PE SA Foundation and Safaricom Ethiopia.

Linda has a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Nairobi, a MBA in Strategic Management from the United States International University (USIU) and a Master of Laws Degree in Commercial Law from the University of Nairobi and is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya and the Women on Boards Network and the Law Society of Kenya.Prior to joining Safaricom PLC, Linda was a commercial and litigation lawyer at Demons Hamilton Morrison & Mathews.

Kathryne’s resignation follows former CEO Michael Joseph’s resignation as board director of Safaricom PLC in August. Though she has not stated her next career moves, Katherine sits on the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) board and there is no word about her resignation there meaning her resignation from the Safaricom Board is not a career move or health-related issue but a disagreement in principle just like director Michael Joseph’s.

In August this year, former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph resigned from the company after 23 years of service. Joseph served as CEO from 2000 to 2010 and resigned from the Safaricom board of directors August 1 to focus on his other ventures.

“The Board announces the resignation of Mr. Michael Joseph as a Director in the Board of Safaricom PLC, with effect from August 1, 2023. Michael leaves the Board to focus on other ventures in his life including continuing his role as Chairman of Kenya Airways and being a director in various organizations. He will continue to pursue his passions in matters of conservation and community service,” ” the company said in a statement.

As CEO, Joseph grew Safaricom’s subscriber base from 18,000 in 2000 to 17 million and is seen as the godfather of M-PESA. Safaricom now boasts over 40 million customers, commanding an over 60 percent market share in the company. Joseph followed the January resignation of John Ngumi, the  board chairman of Safaricom PLC just six months after his appointment.

Mr Ngumi was a close ally of the former President Uhuru Kenyatta and has served as chairman in many parastatals, such as the Industrial & Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) which was in charge of the Kenya Transport & Logistics Network that had Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Pipeline Company Limited and Kenya Railways Corporation. He also served on the board of Kenya Airways with Michael Joseph.