Ugandan businessman Patrick Bitature has paid a glowing tribute to departed Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore, describing the deceased as “visionary” and “distinguished corporate leader.”
The Guyanese-born British businessman who ran the Kenya-based multi-national telecommunications company, succumbed to cancer at his home in Nairobi this past Monday.
Business executives across the world have since praised his business acumen which propelled Safaricom to one of the most profitable businesses in East Africa.
“At Simba Group we convey our deepest condolences to the family, friends and entire staff of Safaricom for the loss of their visionary CEO Mr. Bob Collymore,” said Bitature in a brief note posted on his Twitter handle.
“Those of us who were fortunate enough to know and work with Bob have lost a dear friend and East Africa has lost a great ally,” he said, adding, “Bob was an inspiration and an example of true resilience.”
Bitature, who made a fortune in selling airtime and cellphones, said despite not having a university degree, Bob kept pushing the boundaries, asking questions and not accepting the status quo.
“His perseverance and drive got him to the top of his field, to be well respected by his peers and become an internationally renowned CEO,’ he observed.
“I hope the youth can learn from and about Bob and use his example to guide them.”
Collymore was 61. He will be cremated in Kenya this week.
Under Collymore, Safaricom thrived and posted billions in profit, winning international acclaim for its innovativeness.
Bitature, who also serves as Umeme board chairman, said the telecommunication industry has lost a distinguished corporate leader, who over the years has transformed the industry.
“Bob Collymore helped to build Safaricom into East Africa’s most profitable company and rolled out the MPesa innovation that has changed telecom worldwide,” said the Ugandan entrepreneur.