Safaricom has appointed Esther Masese Waititu as the new Chief Financial Services Officer which puts her in charge of its popular mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa. This means Masese could play a key role in steering M-Pesa as a standalone business if the planned split is actualized. However, it is not yet clear whether Safaricom had the separation in mind when appointing her to the position.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, Esther will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight to Safaricom’s financial services business. “She will lead financial services tribes and teams, through the development of financial products, services and solutions for consumers and enterprises,” reads an internal memo announcing her appointment.
Her appointment coincides with pronouncements by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, Patrick Njoroge that a plan to split M-Pesa from the telecommunications business is still intact. Financial products directly under her stewardship will include the conventional M-Pesa and all of Safaricom’s money lending services such as Fuliza, KCB M-Pesa, and M-Shwari.
Others are Safaricom’s International Money Transfer service, M-Pesa Global, and the telco’s money transfer service for teens, M-Pesa Go. Masese has 15 years of experience in the financial sector and has served as the Director, Corporate Banking at KCB Group since 2021.