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Thursday, October 28, 2010


Scribes trooped to the Carnivore grounds Wednesday night to bid farewell to outgoing Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph.

MJ has been on the farewell circuit this past month including meeting with corporate CEOS, his staff at Safaricom, journalists and editors ahead of his handover to Bob Collymore.

Collymore officially starts duty on Monday, November 1st.

By and large it has been a happy affair but also with a bit of anxiety for Joseph.

You see, while he is leaving Safaricom, Joseph will remain with the Vodafone Group and will handle various issues for Safaricom's parent company.

But Joseph may be forgiven for thinking that Vodafone were a bit insensitive after the work and the results he has produced in the 10 years he has run Safaricom.

It was not until a few days ago that Vodafone actually gave Joseph his contract for his new duties. It is quite nerve wrecking when your last day as Safaricom CEO is nigh and the new contract is yet to appear.

That and the fact that the Joseph's have mostly been feted by colleagues and partners and not by Vodafone despite the fact that Joseph ran that Group's most profitable company in terms of margins would dent your feelings.

But, come Monday, Joseph will take on his new duties and Collymore will assume the 7th floor office facing Waiyaki Way as CEO. Being that Collymore is already a director on Safaricom's board, the assumption is that he will also take on the title of Managing Director.
Some Quick notes:

Incoming CEO Bob Collymore is looking at doing things a bit differently.

For starters, he is going to be big on Social Media. Not just him tweeting and facebooking, but moving the ENTIRE SAFARICOM onto the social media space.

Secondly, Collymore is going to go after the youth in a big way. One of the ideas floating around is the introduction of different tariffs for the 18-25 bracket through targeted social media campaigns.

Structured interviews: Joseph was good for a soundbite anytime, anywhere and sometimes his handlers wrung their hands dry in anxiety not knowing what the CEO was going to say.

Collymore is going to be having slots for media interviews booked in advance.

As an example starting Monday, he has slotted in some media houses including Larry Madowo of NTV and O'Brien Kimani of KBC.

After the half-year results announcement on 10 November 2010, instead of a press conference, Collymore will schedule interview slots for the 11th with each journalist getting their one one one slot.

After that Collymore will be off to investor roadshows.

Which side of your bread is buttered?

Last year during the media bash, Gina Din Kariuki and her daughter sat at the same table with Michael Joseph. This time, she sat on Bob Collymore's table.

The Sh5million journalist award scheme

Initially announced by Michael Joseph at last year's media bash, the Sh5million award scheme for business journalists was meant to award the Business Journalist of the Year at this year's media party.

Unfortunately, it didn't happen but MJ said Bob would take it up and by next year April or May, the winner should be known.

The award is supposed to be handled by a panel of independent judges who will track articles written by the different journalists. Ideally, it should be an award for a body of work not just one article or broadcast feature.

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