Former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph is making a comeback and lined up to be the next chairman of the troubled Kenya Airways.
The 72-year-old was first appointed to the board of directors of the airline in September which took many by surprise.
He left Safaricom in 2010 after ten years at the helm and steering the company to one of the most profitable corporate organizations in East Africa.
There is heightened expectation surrounding Michael Joseph’s impending appointment. He would be expected to reorganize the board and inject vibrancy into the dying giant while steering it back to its profitable times.
Michael Joseph’s first task would be to act as the mediator between Kenya Airways and its pilots aligned with KALPA. They had threatened to embark on a strike unless the airline management undergoes major changes.
He addressed the press on Monday evening after supposedly striking a deal with the pilots to avert the strike.
Mr Michael Joseph said:
”My job in joining this board is not to just sit there and say everything is fine. My job is to make sure that we are successful,”
”You know who I am. I have a legacy and I don’t intend my legacy to be anything else than be successful and I need everybody, the pilots, the cabin crew, all the staff of Kenya Airways to be behind this and we need the public to be behind this. Because obviously there has been a loss of confidence in the airline, the brand has suffered, we need to recover that brand to make sure Kenyans still fly us.”
Sticking true to form, Transport Secretary James Macharia reiterated the fact that the government is the majority shareholder of Kenya Airways and therefore pushed for the change at the board.
Speaking during the governance and accountability summit at Statehouse, Nairobi, Mr. Macharia said
”Last AGM we forced some changes in terms of board composition in KQ that’s why you find this week there is the prospect of having a new chairman of the board. Those are changes that have to be planned because as an airline you have to be careful you don’t create a vacuum but in terms of changes in management I can assure you we have taken action.”