PROFILE: Meet Peter Ndegwa, the man who brought you Senator Keg now Safaricom CEO

PROFILE: Meet Peter Ndegwa, the man who brought you Senator Keg now Safaricom CEO

Peter Ndegwa, the Diageo Continental Europe Managing Director, was on Thursday named the new Safaricom Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr. Ndegwa, whose term begins on April 1, 2020, is set to replace former CEO Bob Collymore who succumbed to cancer in July this year.

Little is however known about the new most powerful telco boss in the country who has been at the helm of British alcoholic beverages company Diageo since July 2018.

Mr. Ndegwa is an alumni of Starehe Boys Centre, from where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi before proceeding to the London Business School for his MBA.

He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

Mr. Ndegwa, following completion of his MBA, took on key assignments in corporate advisory and project management at leading European and American banks and insurance businesses.

He then joined global consulting firm PwC as a consultant in 1996 and relocated to London, UK, under the firm’s talent development programme.

Three years later, he transitioned from the Accountancy practice to the Consulting and Corporate Finance Unit at PwC.

Mr. Ndegwa returned to Kenya in 2002 and worked on several corporate advisory assignments, mostly in the financial services sector, providing services such as; strategic transaction advice, due diligence, valuation, financial planning and modelling, and significant project leadership and management.

He afterwards joined East African Breweries Limited (EABL), a Diageo subsidiary based in Nairobi, as Strategy Director in 2004; a role in which he steered the development of an affordable beer strategy which saw the creation of Senator Keg.

Senator keg, according to a profile sent to newsrooms, has since gone on to become one of Kenya’s and Diageo’s most iconic beer brands and was recently featured in the Harvard Business Review.

Mr. Ndegwa, during his stint at EABL, was also credited with leading significant business development agendas including the acquisition of Serengeti Breweries Limited, a major subsidiary in Tanzania, and unwounding a complex shareholding structure with SAB Miller (now ABI) in both Kenya and Tanzania.

In 2011, he was dispatched to Guinness Ghana Breweries plc and later Guinness Nigeria plc, both Diageo subsidiaries, where he served as CEO.

He left Nigeria for his current role as Diageo Continental Europe MD in July 2018 where he has since been overseeing business operations in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Russia, the Middle East and North Africa region.

Mr. Ndegwa is married with one child and draws his inspiration from his teachers in primary school, Dr. Geoffrey Griffin — the late founder of Starehe Boys Centre — his alma mater, and his parents especially his mother.

“Instead of just looking at what governments can do, we need to acknowledge that large organisations 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.

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