Safaricom - 2020 Sustainable Business Report

11 INTRODUCTION OUR BUSINESS OUR MATERIAL TOPICS OUR STAKEHOLDERS CONCLUDING REMARKS Message from our outgoing CEO As many of you know, this has been my second stint as CEO of Safaricom. The sad and sudden passing of my dear friend, Bob Collymore, required the Board to ask me to step back into the role. My return made sense from a business continuity perspective. As the founding CEO and the current Chairperson of the M-PESA Foundation, I am already familiar with the company and the senior management team. I have remained close to the business in many respects. In fact, Bob and I spent a good deal of time together during the previous two years, while he was being treated in hospital. We spoke at length about the special company we both felt privileged to lead. I had also advocated for Bob to succeed me in 2010. I felt that he genuinely understood the DNA of Safaricom and the importance of being a company with purpose. Bob Collymore did more than understand our DNA. He enhanced it. He embedded within the company an even deeper appreciation for acting with purpose. He inspired us to recognise the importance of seeing the business through the lens of sustainability and as an interconnected part of the society within which it operates. He excelled at cultivating relationships and consensus. Not only did he strengthen the sustainability agenda within Safaricom, he propagated it and brought other companies and business leaders on board. My closeness to the company and Bob helped make a difficult transition easier. Remaining committed to our purpose Safaricom is a purpose-led company. We started this company 20 years ago with the explicit intention to transform people’s lives for the better. This was not merely altruistic sentiment. We believed that a company that genuinely improved the quality of people’s lives would be rewarded by those people with their custom and loyalty. This was our core belief. When we launched M-PESA, for instance, we knew that our target customers’ – Kenyans in the middle and bottom of the economic foundation – had to trust us and understand how the service would improve their lives. We were proved right and that conviction is as true and necessary now as it was in October 2000. Perhaps it is even more so, given how success can breed complacency. Most people focus on our financial success, but it is the role we have played in the Kenyan society that has made us who we are. It is our DNA. It is not possible to overestimate the importance of the position of the company in Kenyan society. We continue to make a significant contribution to the fabric of Kenyan society. We continue to create opportunities for people to empower and uplift themselves and transform their lives. This remains our purpose. Most people focus on our financial success, but it is the role we have played in Kenyan society that has made us who we are. It is our DNA.