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Ex-Safaricom chief Joseph set to leave Vodafone

Former Safaricom #ticker:SCOM chief executive Michael Joseph is set to step down as Vodafone’s director of mobile money later this year as part of a wider plan to disengage from all his full-time roles at the telecom giant.

Mr Joseph, who is the chairman of Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ, is also set to relinquish his non-executive director positions at Vodafone’s African subsidiaries — Vodacom Mozambique, Vodacom Tanzania and Vodacom Group South Africa.

He was appointed Vodafone’s director of mobile money in 2011, as the UK-based telecom firm sought to tap his knowledge to replicate the Kenyan M-Pesa success in other countries where it was being rolled out.

The 71-year-old says he is relinquishing his director positions partly to concentrate his energies on KQ, but also to dial down his active roles after decades of extensive work in the corporate world.

“I stepped down from a full-time role at Vodafone in December but I do some work for them. The plan is to fully step down from Vodafone and its companies towards the end of this year,” Mr Joseph told Business Daily in an interview.

“I reduced my responsibilities at Vodafone so that I could dedicate more of my time with KQ. Also, I have been working for a long time and I think it’s time to slow down a bit.”

Mr Joseph, who is also a director at Safaricom, left the company in November 2011 after more than a decade at the helm.

Vodafone, Safaricom’s majority shareholder, then tapped him to head its global mobile money business including expanding it to countries such as Denmark, Albania, Ghana and India.

Mr Joseph last week joined the board of South African financial technology firm MFS Africa as an independent non-executive director.

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