Safaricom Appoints Debra Mallowah as Chief Business Development Officer

Debra Mallowah
Debra Mallowah / Image Courtesy

Safaricom, through the CEO, Bob Collymore announced the creation of a new office, Chief Business Development during the release of the company’s half-year results. The new office was created alongside other managerial changes to the company that saw the number of people reporting to the CEO drop to nine from twelve.

The new role, Chief Business Development Officer has now been filled by Debra Mallowah who was, until her appointment, General Manager at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare East Africa. Ms Debra has a track record of management and marketing having served at different managerial positions in various companies across Africa, including; Vice President – Personal care, Unilever Africa, Group Marketing & Innovations Director of Diageo East Africa (East Africa Breweries Ltd).

Debra’s role at Safaricom will comprise of strategy and innovation, regional expansion and knowledge management – research, insights and big data. According to Bob Collymore, she will be in charge of innovation, ensuring that the company continues searching for new ways to do business.

At her new position, which starts in January 2019, Safaricom’s Alpha will fall under her wings. Alpha is Safaricom’s innovation lab that was previously headed by Kamal Bhattacharya, then Chief Innovation Officer, a role that has since been scrapped. Kamal had led Alpha to the development of its first product, Bonga before he packed up and left Safaricom under unclear circumstances.

In addition to Debra’s appointment, Safaricom also confirmed the appointment of Charles Wanjohi as Director of the Consumer Business Unit, a role previously undertaken by Sylvia Mulinge, who is now Safaricom’s Chief Customer Officer, reporting directly to the CEO.

“In line with our strategy that guides us to deliver on our purpose, performance ambition and realities of our current and future operating environments, it has become necessary re-organise how we work to create a sharper focus on our customer and align teams strategically to drive better execution,” said Bob Collymore.

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