Tribute: What Safaricom Managers had to say about Bob Collymore

Bob Collymore Safaricom
"Thank you for showing us how to have fun through your dancing, selfies, jokes and laughter.. Redefining the face of what it means to be a CEO in Kenya."

Listening to the tributes pouring in during Bob Collymore’s memorial service at All Saints Cathedral on Thursday, outsiders and many who had not met the Safaricom CEO, would have wished to have interacted with him.

It was quite clear from the speeches that Bob had a special gift of connecting with people; from President Uhuru Kenyatta who talked about the afternoon they spent together talking about the country and Bob’s last days, to the security guards who saluted his hearse on its way to the crematorium.

Not everyone had an opportunity to talk about their relationship with Collymore at the memorial service but a number of Safaricom staff shared the lessons, encounters and relationship they had will Bob on social media.

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Thibaud Rerolle – Chief Technology Officer

The fact that you hired me showed your courage and curiosity. You coached me in my role towards excellence and relentless customer passion. I learned from you what Purpose and Sustainability truly are and why the matter so much.

Our interactions in public were always full of respect, humor and wisdom.

More privately you have taught me so much about engagement for values and humanity.

I am extremely privileged to have walked alongside such a great leader. And I will continue to build on the 3 pillars that you taught me of Excellence, Humanity and Integrity. You have transformed my life and made the world and Kenya a ‘beta’ place. Asante Bob!

Sylvia Mulinge – Chief Customer Officer 

Carolyne Kendi – Head of Brand, Marketing & Communications 

If you have the right vision and you take the right steps, then success is inevitable- Bob Collymore

Minal Pattani; Marketing & Sales Manager at Masoko, Safaricom

Bob Collymore – A true legend! As I come into terms of his passing away, I reflect on my first encounter with our handsome CEO. It was in 2013 when he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at Capital Club EA.

Our first conversation was about this new gadget he got…the fitness watch! He was proudly showing me how many steps he had acquired and with his contagious smile he walked towards the restaurant.

Since then, I’ve had several encounters as we built the Capital Club’s events portfolio and thereafter Safaricom. When I officially joined Safaricom, he sent me a very short heart warming message, ‘Karibu nyumbani’.

Bob has touched several lives and built a robust legacy. As his friends and family, colleagues and peers, Safaricom and Vodafone team and our country at large remember him, let’s celebrate our hero!

Kwaheri Bob… I will miss you!

Stacy Wairimu Okoth – Senior Business Manager- Chief Customer Office 

The news came as a shock yesterday, but we celebrate a life well lived.

Cheers to a great CEO, who was always human and treated everyone with respect. Who listened more than he spoke, yet spoke with so much impact.

Who believed in young people and giving them a chance.

Thank you for showing us how to have fun through your dancing, selfies, jokes and laughter.. Redefining the face of what it means to be a CEO in Kenya.

Thank you for introducing/enforcing concepts like SDG’s, humanness, servant leadership, reputation before revenue, authenticity, putting the customer first, etc in a world that is so focused on chasing revenue at all costs.

They say that some people are defined by what they own, others by what they do, but you were defined by who you are, and that is, a good human being. That is why so many people have amazing and warm stories to tell about you.

Many of us are inspired to become better leaders and better human beings in general.

Grace Murugi, Digital Manager

“You do not always have the last word on something and you do not always have to be the first person to say something. Just shut up and listen and do not have to always say anything. When you spend a lot of time on your own, you realise that silence actually is a pretty good thing.” Bob Collymore