PROFILE: Who is Sylvia Mulinge, the new MTN Uganda CEO

Ms. Sylvia Mulinge has been appointed MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Sylvia Mulinge has been appointed MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer

KAMPALA — Sylvia Mulinge has been appointed MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer— joining from Safaricom Kenya, where she served as Chief Consumer Business Officer for the Group.

A seasoned executive, Ms. Mulinge brings with her a passion for transforming customers’ lives using technology.

Mulinge replaces Wim Vanhelleputte, who will take on the new MTN Group role of Operations Executive: Markets. In this position, he will leverage his experience in furthering financial inclusion and strengthening MTN’s position as a market leader.

Vanhelleputte is a former MTN Côte d’Ivoire CEO and has extensive operational experience across Africa.

“My thanks to Stephen for his valuable contribution to the MTN Group over the years and wish him well as he journeys to new opportunities outside of the African continent. I welcome Sylvia to the Y’ello family and look forward to working with her, as well as with Mitwa, Mapula and Wim in their new roles, as we continue to execute on our Ambition 2025 strategy, ” says MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita.

Sylivia Mulinge profile

Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge, is a Kenyan businesswoman and corporate executive.

Since November 2018, she served as the Chief Customer Officer at Safaricom, reporting directly to the chief executive officer of the telecommunications company.

Previously, from 1 October 2018 until 2 November 2018, she served as the Director, Special Projects at Safaricom.

Before that, she was the Director of the Consumer Business Unit at Safaricom, the largest telecommunications company in Kenya.

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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