Former Safaricom CEO to Lead Vodafone M-Payments Business

Dec. 12, 2011

Michael Joseph has been named to lead the mobile payments unit of London-based telecom Vodafone. Joseph is the former CEO of Safaricom who is credited with championing mobile payment service M-PESA (a joint venture of Vodafone and Safaricom) in Kenya. M-PESA, one of the most successful mobile initiatives in the world, has helped Kenya leapfrog a stage of development and kickstart its rural economy. Vodafone has tapped Joseph, who retired from Safaricom in 2010, to drive M-PESA in India and Africa. “For Vodafone, India will be the biggest market,” Joseph told reporters. “It is really right for this product. There are 700 million people without bank accounts. Two hundred and thirty of those have mobiles, but there is also a huge market which, as yet, don’t have either. It’s also a huge opportunity because of the geography, but you need to have a passion and to know it can be successful in order to invest the capital and the time training people.”