Safaricom has appointed Peter Ndegwa as the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) effective April next year. He joins Safaricom from Diageo PLC where he is the managing director of Diageo Continental Europe. Ndegwa brings a wealth of experience in general management, commercial and business strategy as well as sales and finance operations, having spent over 25 years in various roles within the financial services and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors in Africa and Europe.
In his current role, he oversees the operations of Diageo PLC in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa region. He had previously served for seven years as CEO in Guinness Nigeria PLC and Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC, where he transformed the two operations to deliver a double-digit growth by investing in people, introducing new brands and reorganizing the businesses.
Prior to that, Ndegwa served for eight years across a range of senior executive director roles at EABL (a Diageo subsidiary) based in Nairobi. The roles included: the group chief finance officer (CFO), group strategy director and sales director. As an executive director on the EABL board, he was part of the team that saw the value of the corporate’s business more than double in value. It won the coveted most respected company award in East Africa for five years in a row.
Ndegwa is credited with the development of an affordable-beer strategy for EABL resulting in the production of new brands such as Senator beer. The brand became one of the most successful innovations by Diageo and it has been featured in the Harvard Business Review. He started his career at PwC, a global consulting firm, where he worked for eleven years. The highly experienced executive holds an MBA from the London Business School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).
Born in Ol kalou, Nyandarua County, Ndegwa is an alumnus of Starehe Boys’ Centre and School, where he studied on scholarship because he was very bright and his family background was humble. He is married to Jemimah Ndegwa, a marketer by profession and they have been blessed with one child.