Thursday, 6 May 2021

Guinness Nigeria Appoints Ex Minister Omobola Johnson As First Female Chairman


Guinness Nigeria Changes Board of Directors, Appoints Omobola Johnson As First Female Chairman.

Mr. Babatunde Savage, the long-serving and indefatigable Board Chair of Guinness Nigeria, has given notice that he will retire on June 30, 2021. Dr. Omobola Johnson, a pioneer Nigerian Minister of Communication and Technology and a member of the Guinness Nigeria Board of Directors, will be named and assume the position of Board Chair with effect from July 1, 2021.


Mr. Savage expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of the wonderful Guinness Nigeria story over the last four decades in a letter notifying the Board of Directors of his retirement in accordance with relevant Corporate Governance regulations. 


He also expressed gratitude to the Boards of Guinness Nigeria and Diageo UK for providing him with the opportunity to serve in a variety of capacities, first as an employee in various strategic senior positions, then as an Executive Director, and finally as Chair of the Board, a position he has held for twelve eventful and progressive years. He also expressed his unwavering love for Guinness Nigeria, Diageo, and the company’s well-known brands. “After nearly 40 incredible years, my journey with Guinness Nigeria is coming to an end, and now is the time for me to exit this stage. I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing business with such a rich history that constantly reminds you that you’re standing on the shoulders of giants. He said, “Guinness Nigeria is and will always be family to me.”


Babatunde Savage was appointed Chair of the Board in 2009 after serving in a number of executive positions within the organization, including Company Treasurer, Director of Finance, Director of Corporate Planning, Company Secretary, Corporate Affairs Director, and Deputy Managing Director. Savage’s journey in Guinness Nigeria has been impressive, overcoming so many challenges in various capacities and delivering many wins and milestones for the business.


Mr. John O’Keeffe, Vice-Chair of the Board and President, Diageo Africa, thanked Mr. Savage on behalf of the Board of Diageo Plc., the parent company, for his invaluable contributions to Guinness Nigeria’s success over the last forty years.


Baker Magunda also expressed his gratitude to Mr. Babatunde Savage, the Managing Director, saying, “I must express my sincere thanks to Mr. Savage for his invaluable contribution to the Board since his appointment as Board Chair in 2009, especially also during my tenure as managing director, and his unwavering dedication to the Company’s success since he joined Guinness Nigeria in 1983.” I wish Mr. Savage all the best on behalf of the Board and Management.”


“We are pleased to have Dr. Johnson as our in-coming Board Chair, particularly because of the value and insight she has brought since her appointment as an Independent Non-Executive Director, and more recently as the chair of the Nominations, Governance & Remunerations Committee of the Board,” said Mr. O’Keeffe, who is also the chair of the Nominations, Governance & Remunerations Committee of the Board. This is an exciting time for Guinness Nigeria, as we enter our 71st year, as we continue to deepen our relationships with our stakeholders and fulfill our purpose of helping people celebrate life every day, everywhere. This, with a truly diverse and inclusive Board, Management, and workforce, skills and capabilities to reflect our broad consumer base.”


Mr. Savage, the outgoing Board Chair, said, “Dr. Because of her unmatched expertise and experience, Omobola Johnson as incoming Board Chair perfectly complements the Board of Guinness Nigeria, and I am sure she will continue to provide the right leadership and valuable perspectives to help the business to maintain its unique strategy, drive profitability, and enhance value for all stakeholders,” he added


Dr. Johnson is a member of the Guinness Nigeria Board of Directors and has worked in both the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy for over 30 years. “Guinness Nigeria is an excellent company with tremendous value creation opportunities, and I believe the refreshed Board and Management Team will remain committed to carrying on the excellent tradition of the Compay,” said the former Country Managing Director for Accenture and now senior partner at TLCom Capital, a technology venture capital firm focused on Africa, in response to her appointment.


On July 1, 2021, Dr. Omobola Johnson will resume her position as Board Chair of Guinness Nigeria Plc., and the requisite notice of her appointment, as well as Mr. Savage’s retirement, will be filed with relevant regulatory authorities, as required by current regulations.


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