Published: Mon, July 01, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore dies, aged 61

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore dies, aged 61

Collymore, had taken nine months off from October 2017 to return to his home in Britain seeking treatment for Acute Myloid Leukemia (AML).

Uhuru Kenyatta posted a condolence message via State House Twitter handle saying, "It is with deep sadness that I have this morning received the news of the death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore after years of battling cancer".

The Safaricom board, which hosted a media briefing a moment ago revealed that the death of Mr Collymore was a shock to the entire Safaricom community.

Bob Collymore helped to build Safaricom into East Africa's most profitable company, thanks to the popular mobile money transfer service M-Pesa and a growing customer base.

He was receiving treatment since then but "in recent weeks his condition worsened".

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Citizen TV news anchor Jeff Koinange has recounted a surreal conversation he had with deceased Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, less than 48 hours before the latter's death on Monday morning.

Collymore, previously head of corporate affairs at South Africa's Vodacom, led the company through a pricing war sparked by rival operator Airtel Kenya shortly before he joined Safaricom, presiding over a decision to maintain tariffs at elevated levels relative to the competition.

He is survived by his wife Wambui Collymore and four children. "As a country, we've therefore lost a distinguished corporate leader whose contribution to our national well-being will be greatly missed", read a statement from the Kenyan leader.

And in early May, he was appointed as a board member for the National Cancer Institute through a gazette notice. Deputy President William Ruto has called him "exemplary, brilliant and courageous".

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