One year since Peter Ndegwa took over as Safaricom CEO, the Kenya’s biggest telco looks to be in shambles for the first time in history.
During his first few months in office, Safaricom’s cash transfer service M-Pesa experienced several outages, which were announced as “maintenances”.
For several consecutive weeks, Safaricom announced maintenances almost every weekend, without getting into specifics.
Despite announcing huge profits in the midst of a pandemic, Safaricom is yet to attain a managerial footing a year after a new CEO took over.
Between Sunday, April 25 and Monday, April 26, several Safaricom subscribers reported internet outages that the giant telco kept mum about.
Interestingly, the outages came after reports that Safaricom was undertaking a restructuring move, that would render some employees jobless.
Worse still, there were reports of some employees being told to re-apply their positions even as Ndegwa looks to take control.
In the restructuring move, dubbed the “agility programme”, the telco will come up with small teams known as squads. The squads will then be put together in a tribe. The tribes will then report to the executive committee.
Each tribe will have between 60 and 100 employees while squads will have between eight and 12 employees.
There are reports that Ndegwa is at loggerheads with senior Safaricom staffers, though Business Times could not independently authenticate the claims.
On Sunday, the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary-general Francis Atwoli directly attcked Ndegwa, terming him as the most “dangerous” Safaricom CEO ever.
Atwoli threatened to petition to the board to have Ndegwa sacked, if he dares to implement the agility structure.
“If Mr Ndegwa doesn’t stop this forthwith, we appeal to the Board of Directors at Safaricom PLC including other shareholders, to make sure that Mr Ndegwa is relieved of his duties because of his poor managerial style that seeks to maximize profits at the expense of its employees,” added Atwoli.
“It’s also shocking that even though Mr Ndegwa is the first Kenyan Safaricom CEO, he remains the most dangerous CEO the company has ever had when it comes to protecting workers’ rights,” added Atwoli.