MTN-Uganda has appointed Safaricom Plc’s Chief Consumer Business Officer, Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge as their new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Wim Vanhelleputte
The telecom giant said on Thursday that Mr Vanhelleputte would cease to be the company’s chief executive officer effective July 31, 2022, following the end of his tenure before taking on a new role effective August 1, 2022.
“Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge as Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2022. Ms. Mulinge joins MTN from Safaricom Plc where she is currently the Chief Consumer Business Officer,” MTN Group said.
Vanhelleputte is now heading to West Africa where he has been appointed MTN Group’s Chief Operations Executive, a newly created role, to oversee Liberia, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, and Congo-Brazzaville, effective 1 August 2022.
“In this position, he will leverage his experience in furthering financial inclusion and strengthening MTN’s position as a market leader,” MTN Group announced in a statement on Thursday, 30 June 2022.
Since 2016, Wim Vanhelleputte has been at the helm of MTN Uganda as Chief Executive Officer. He has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications sector, with previous senior roles including CEO of Millicom in Senegal and CEO of Orascom in Chad and Gabon.
In the interim, the current Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Bugembe, has been appointed as Acting Chief Executive Officer effective August 1, 2022, until September 30, 2022.
Who is Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge?
She was born in Kenya and attended St. Xaviers Primary School (1983-1990) in the town of Nakuru, and Mary Mount Secondary School (1991-1994) for her elementary and secondary education. She studied at the University of Nairobi, graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Technology.
She began her career in August 2004, at Unilever, the European consumer products conglomerate, working as the Assistant Regional Brand Manager in the laundry division, based in Durban, South Africa. After nine months in South Africa, she was transferred to Kenya, as the brand manager for Sunlight, a Unilever brand. She worked there for another nine months, from May 2005 until January 2006, based in Nairobi.
In February 2006 she was hired by Safaricom Limited as the manager responsible for the company’s pre-pay product, working in that capacity until November 2007, when she was promoted to the rank of Head of Retail, in which position she served until August 2009.
For the 21 months, from August 2009 until April 2011, she worked as the Head of Safaricom Business, responsible for sales. In May 2011, she was promoted to General Manager for Enterprise Business, working in that capacity for the next four years. In May 2015, she was promoted to the position of Director of Consumer Business at Safaricom. At Safaricom, she rose through the ranks to become a member of the senior management team at the company.
In 2014, Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge was named among the “Top 40 Women under 40 in Kenya 2014” by Business Daily Africa, a daily business newspaper published by the Nation Media Group.
In April 2018, Sylvia Mulinge was named the chief executive officer-designate at Vodacom Tanzania, replacing Ian Ferrao. The position is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The appointment was effective 1 June 2018.
In September 2018, Vodacom Tanzania enounced that the Tanzanian authorities had declined to issue Sylvia Mulinge with a working permit. The company said at the time that it would seek another individual for the position. Effective 1 October 2018 she was reassigned as the director of special projects at Safaricom, reporting directly to the company CEO.
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