Kenyans have much to thank him for
Michael Joseph, the legendary corporate leader who led Safaricom to be the most successful company in East Africa, has left Safaricom‘s board. I first met Michael Joseph in 2010 when I was running the Elimisha US initiative, which was a mentorship initiative. When I invited him to speak to the entrepreneurs in the tech space at the iHub as he was retiring, he was greatly inspiring as a leader. I soon worked with him as I led the Safaricom Innovation Board for a while.
We have a lot to thank MJ for. Safaricom has not only employed thousands of people but it has given purpose to many people in Kenya and in many other countries. His commitment to Kenya’s corporate development has gone even further into areas of conservation and in trying to reorganise Kenya Airways, which is no mean feat.
As he proceeds now into his retirement, I thank him for his service, for changing Kenyan’s lives and for inspiring many people in Kenya around the world, including me.
The thing that I would remember Michael for the most would be his brutal honesty and apparent openness. When I made a post criticising Safaricom’s dealings with innovators, he called me to his office and said, “We don’t know how to deal with them. Come help us make things better.” It never worked out, but Safaricom improved their dealings with innovators – at least while I was paying attention.