Guinness Nigeria has announced the notice of retirement of its Board Chair Mr Babatunde Savage effective June 30, 2021. Savage will be replaced by Nigeria’s Pioneer Minister of Communication and Technology DrOmobola Johnson who is also a member of the Board with effect from July 1, 2021. Savage has served as Guinness Board Chair for twelve years.
In his letter notification to the Board, Savage expressed his pleasure at the opportunity to have been a part of the wonderful Guinness Nigeria story over the last four decades. He also thanked the Board of Guinness Nigeria and Diageo UK for the opportunity to have served the Company in many capacities.
Before he was appointed the Chair in 2009, Savage worked as a Company Treasurer, Director of Finance, Director of Corporate Planning, Company Secretary, Corporate Affairs Director, Deputy Managing Director and an Executive Director.
“After almost 40 amazing years, like every good thing, my journey with Guinness Nigeria is coming to an end and this is my time to exit this stage. I feel so proud of my association with this wonderful company with such a rich heritage that constantly reminds you that you are standing on the shoulders of giants. Guinness Nigeria is and will always be family to me”, Savage said.
Regarding his successor, Savage said, “DrOmobola Johnson as incoming Board Chair perfectly complements the Board of Guinness Nigeria because of her unmatched skills and experience, and I am confident she will continue to provide the right leadership and valuable perspectives to enable the company to sustain the execution of its unique strategy, drive profitability and enhance value for all stakeholders”.
Speaking on Savage’s retirement, the Vice-Chair of the Board and President, Diageo Africa, Mr John O’Keeffe, thanked the Savage for his invaluable contributions to the success of the Guinness Nigeria over the last forty years.
On Johnson’s appointment as the new Chair, O’Keeffe who is also the chair of the Nominations, Governance & Remunerations Committee of the Board said “we are pleased to have Dr Johnson as our incoming Board Chair, especially 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 Finance, Audit & Risk Committee of the Board and member of the Nomination, Governance and Remunerations Committee in the last three years. This is truly an exciting time in Guinness Nigeria’s 71st year as we continue to build deeper relationships with our stakeholders and fulfil our purpose of helping people celebrate life every day, everywhere with a truly diverse and inclusive Board, Management and workforce, skills and capabilities to reflect our broad consumer base.”
In his reaction, the Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc Mr Baker Magunda acknowledged the unwavering support of the former Chair while he served. “I must express my sincere thanks to Mr Savage for his invaluable contribution to the Board since his appointment as Board Chair in 2009 particularly also in my own time as managing director, and his unwavering commitment to the success of the Company since he joined Guinness Nigeria in 1983. On behalf of the Board and Management, I wish Mr Savage the very best” Magunda said.
Commenting on her appointment, Johnson a former Country Managing Director for Accenture and s Senior Partner at TLCom Capital said “Guinness Nigeria is an excellent company with tremendous value creation opportunities, and I believe the refreshed Board and the Management Team will remain committed to carrying on the excellent tradition of the Company led by Mr Savage in achieving outstanding performance and maximizing shareholder value.” Dr Johnson has over 30 years of experience in both the private and public sectors in Nigeria.