Peter Ndegwa, the man behind ‘Senator Keg’ now Safaricom CEO. Who is he?

Peter Ndegwa has been appointed as Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer, taking over from Michael Joseph who has been serving in an interim capacity following the death of Bob Collymore.

His appointment marks a first as he is the first Kenyan to be appointed to head Kenya’s biggest telco by market share. Mr. Ndegwa’s appointment as Safaricom’s new CEO is also seen as a response to the government’s call for the appointment of a Kenyan to head Kenya’s most profitable company.

Ndegwa, an alumnus of Starehe Boys Centre, has had an illustrious career spanning over two decades. He pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

He began his career with global consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) as a consultant, relocating to London in the United Kingdom under the firm’s talent development programme in 1996. It is in the UK that he earned a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration from London School of Business.

In 1999, he transitioned from the accountancy practice to the Consulting and Corporate Finance Unit at PwC.

He returned to Nairobi in 2002, where he worked on several significant corporate advisory assignments – providing strategic transaction advice, due diligence, valuation, financial planning and modelling, and significant project leadership and management – mostly in the financial services sector.

He took primary assignments in corporate advisory and project management at leading European and American Banks and insurance business.

In 2004, Mr. Ndegwa joined East African Breweries (EABL), a Diageo subsidiary based in Nairobi, as Strategy Director. Within a five-year strategy in his role at EABL, he watched over the creation of the Senator Keg beer.

He left EABL in October 2011 West Africa to serve as the CEO for Diageo subsidiaries Guinness Ghana Breweries plc and Guinness Nigeria plc.

While in Ghana, Peter led talks with the government leading to the introduction of an affordable beer in the country.

He also helped transform Diageo’s business in Nigeria – at a time when he saw a 40% recovery in share price in the beer industry. He left Nigeria for his current role in Europe in July 2018.

Mr. Ndegwa currently oversees the operations of Diageo plc in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa region. 

Peter is a husband and a father of one child. Peter, who credits his success to his mother, is a believer in the strong contribution that companies can make towards the improvement of a country’s wellbeing.

“Instead of just looking at what governments can do, we need to acknowledge that large organizations can improve society and shift how people think and feel. For me, this is about working with others to build sustainable businesses that can make a difference in people’s lives,” said Mr. Ndegwa following his appointment.

He will be at the helm of Kenya’s leading telco effective immediately April 1, 2020, takin over from the late Collymore, the man who saw Safaricom post Ksh63 billion profit for the year ending May 2019.

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Dr. Patrick Njoroge

Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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