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UPDATE 1-Kenya's Safaricom names Peter Ndegwa as new CEO

(Adds details, background)

NAIROBI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Kenya's top telecoms operator Safaricom has named Peter Ndegwa as its new CEO, it said on Thursday, ending a three-month search for a new leader following the death of its long-time head Bob Collymore.

East Africa's most profitable company, which is part-owned by South Africa's Vodacom and Britain's Vodafone , has been led since July by an interim CEO after the death of Collymore.

Ndegwa joins from brewer Diageo, where he has served as managing director of the company's continental European business, overseeing operations in 50 countries, Safaricom said in a statement.

His appointment becomes effective on April 1, 2020, the company added.

Safaricom controls about 62% of Kenya's mobile market, with 30 million subscribers. The company is 35% owned by Vodacom, while Vodafone has a 5% stake.

(Reporting By Maggie Fick, George Obulutsa and Omar Mohammed; additional reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Deepa Babington and Pravin Char)