Safaricom CFO Sateesh Kamath promoted to CFO for Vodafone Business

KENYA – Safaricom has announced the promotion of its CFO, Sateesh Kamath, to the role of Chief Financial Officer Vodafone Business, effective 1st July 2020.   

In his new role, Mr Kamath will be reporting to the British firm Vodafone CEO Vinod Kumar besides serving as a member of Vodafone Group Finance Leadership. 

Kamath was with Safaricom for four years a period in which he is lauded for having played a critical role in growing shareholder value and making the company future fit.   

“Kamath is credited with, among many other achievements, helping to build Safaricom shareholders’ value by 50 percent to Sh1.2 trillion and improving business performance through Fit for Future Initiatives adding 6 percentage points on EBIT margin,” CEO Peter Ndegwa said.   

The CFO held a critical role in completing the Mpesa Joint Venture acquisition from Vodafone and purchasing an essential spectrum. He also assumed broader responsibilities in navigating the company through the phase when Bob Collymore was on medical leave and through transitions thereafter.   

“In his four-year tenure, Sateesh built a reputation as an outstanding finance expert in the region, a leader and a mentor, qualities that we at Safaricom have benefitted greatly from and we will deeply miss. He will leave behind a very strong team,” the CEO said.   

“We will announce his successor in due course,” Ndegwa said  

Sateesh joined Safaricom PLC as CFO and Executive Director on the board on 1st August 2016 from Vodacom Tanzania Ltd, where he held a similar position.   

Before his experience in Safaricom and Vodafone in East Africa, Sateesh Kumash had spent ten years in Vodafone, leading various finance teams. He also sat on various boards in Safaricom PLC, Vodacom Tanzania, and Helios Towers.   

He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from India’s Mahatma Gandhi University and a corresponding management leadership program from London Business School.   

This makes a second change in Kenya’s largest corporation after the company appointed the first Kenya CEO Peter Ndegwa in April this year.  

Safaricom and its South African parent company Vodacom in April completed the acquisition of the M-Pesa brand from their affiliate Vodafone Group Plc in a KSh1.4 billion (US$13.15m) transaction. 

Vodacom and Vodafone own a combined 40 percent stake in the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm which pioneered the M-Pesa service in the local market. 

In the full year to March 2020, Safaricom posted KSh74.7 billion (US$701.9m) net profit, driven by strong growth in M-Pesa and data services revenues. 

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