Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore passes away after battle with cancer

Bob Collymore

Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore has passed away after battling cancer for a long time.

According to a statement issued by the company’s Board Chairman Nicholas Nganga, Collymore passed on at his home this morning.

“He (Collymore) has been undergoing treatment for this condition in different hospitals and most recently at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi,” the statement said.

It added; “In recent weeks, his condition worsened and he succumbed to the cancer at his home in the early hours on Monday.”

Collymore, had taken nine months off from October 2017 to return to his home in Britain seeking treatment for Acute Myloid Leukemia (AML). He leaves behind a wife and four children. According to people close to him, Mr Colymore was aware of his impending demise and was at peace. His doctors had requested him not to make long term plans as they did not expect him to live beyond July 2019.

“On behalf of the board of Safaricom PLC, we extend our deepest condolences to his family, staff, partners and the nation at large who he served selflessly and with joy,” the statement added.

President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned the death of the celebrated telco boss.

“It is with deep sadness that I have this morning received news of the death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore after years of battling cancer. As a country, we’ve lost a distinguished corporate leader whose contribution to our national wellbeing will be missed,” State House tweeted.

More politicians also joined in condoling with the friends and family of the departed Safaricom boss.

On his part, DP William Ruto stated, “Bob Collymore was a distinguished corporate titan, whose shrewd leadership at the helm of Safaricom was commendable. He steered the company to new heights and contributed immensely to the evolution of Kenya’s corporate scene.”

“Shocked and sad to learn of the departure of Bob Collymore from this world. It really breaks my heart. He was a wonderful friend, a brilliant strategist and a fighter. I really thought he would pull through. My condolences to his family and the entire Safaricom team. Sad day,” wrote Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.

“My condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr Bob Collymore as well as the entire Safaricom fraternity. Bob served our country with dedication and sustained us as a communication hub in Africa. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” ODM leader Raila Odinga noted.

Bob Collymore talks about the changing tides of mobile technology in the last three decades.

Senior IT professionals also weighed in. “It is a sad day. Let’s celebrate his life and his many achievements. We will keep his legacy strong and alive as we continue to transform lives of our fellow Kenyans #Twaweza,” wrote Thibaud Rerolle, the out-going CTO at Safaricom.

“We will all miss him and we can thank God we had the opportunity to know him. Rest in Peace my brother,” Neil Dwyer, Executive Partner, Titans D’Afrique a Nairobi based consultancy firm.

Collymore, a Guyana-born British citizen, took charge of Safaricom in 2010 on a three-year contract after the company’s founding CEO, Michael Joseph, retired.

His contract has been extended multiple times as a result of his success and was scheduled to exit the firm in 2020.

In October 2017, Collymore travelled to the United Kingdom to receive treatment and returned in July last year to resume his duties.

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