Lampe Omoyele Resumes at 141-Worldwide as CEO, Motivations for both Parties
In a matter of hours highly referred marketing practitioner, Lampe Omoyele will drop his toga as CEO of The Lucent Consulting and will effectively become the Chief Executive Officer at Lagos agency, Prima Garnet group’s 141-Worldwide effective 1st October, 2017.
Omoyele described as a business leader with marketing expertise, in the last one year since resigning from the Nielsen company as Managing Director, became a founder and pioneer CEO of his company, The Lucent company. Therefore, it looks too early in the day, to abdicate the fledgling company that he has tenacious worked at in the last one year.
While Mr. Omoyele was not available for immediate comments on his new move, sources close to the company confirms to BrandCrunch that The Lucent company may not feel the absence of its founder and pioneer CEO so much. The operation of Lucent shall continue in full swing, he volunteers, disclosing that the company’s model is that of ‘co-creators’. “Lucent is founded on the belief in the power of partnerships and collaborations”, the source discloses.
According to him, Lampe’s movement to 141 as CEO underscores his vision of building partnerships with like-minded people who have proven track record of professionalism, integrity and the pursuit of excellence. All these qualities, the Lucent founder shares with his new principal, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, Group CEO, Prima Garnet Nigeria.
While this sounds reasonable to some extent, the move to 141 becomes a cheeky one as the last arrow-head of the company ran by the designation “Chief Operating Officer/ED”. 141-worldwide in its over a decade’s history for reasons best known to the group’s management, never had a managing director but Mr. Omoyele has broken the jinx. He will run by the title of a Managing Director with full paraphernalia of the CEO.
This becomes instructive as sources close to the company hinted that the last arrow-head and COO of the company who resigned from the agency effective last July had ceaselessly craved for the title of a Managing Director among other requests to a point of variance. This indicates the Prima Garnet group might have bent over heal, yielded some good grounds during the negotiations with its new high profile hire (which we gathered took some decent time), to ensure the right man for the job.
Speaking to Brandcrunch on the current landmark developments in the group, the Group CEO, acknowledges Mrs. Oke’s laudable contributions in getting 141-Worldwide to its present pedestal. “Bunmi Oke was our third Business Director and was promoted to the positions of COO and ED. She worked hard in the almost 12 years and helped grow the agency into what we are today. We really appreciate all she did and wish her the very best in her new project which she took time to share with me”, Mr. Akinwunmi declares.
In reality of the economic and business today coupled with the changing role of advertising, the Group CEO discloses, “We are repositioning the Group. We worked with a Management Consultant and it cost us a lot of money”. According to him, the group has completed the PG restructuring, especially in the face of its separation from WPP. The group currently maintains an independent, non aligned status as a wholly indigenous Nigerian advertising/marketing communications group of companies.
Prior to this, we had seen the need to review the working model based on new realities explains Mr. Akinwunmi, which according to him manifests in: declining core business, movement within the industry from advertising the way we always knew it to a more specialised knowledge support role. We don’t have the need for large agencies anymore, he declares, pointing out, “Four years ago, the PG annual personnel bill was N300m; definitely unsustainable. Staff strength was over 100. Too large. So we started with PG and reviewed and pruned down”.
The downturn in the economy made it more pragmatic as business slowed down substantially in the industry. Like other agencies and operators, the PG group took a hit, wobbled, but it didn’t fall down. The former APCON Chairman reveals that erstwhile ailing Prima Garnet is okay now and at an optimal level. “Thank God for this”.
The business is reviewed, the model is no longer just advertising. We are starting a new operation in a new field as soon as we sort out the protocols, he reveals. “No agency will depend on traditional advertising anymore. It is not sustainable”, he stated categorically, while also alluding to the general business decline in the industry.
Back to Lampe and the 141-Worldwide question. Mr. Akinwunmi explains, “We needed to do the same (reorganization) for 141. He is coming in as the pioneer Managing Director”, and the attraction, “He’s very experienced and this is one of the reasons that qualify him for the job”, he discloses to BrandCrunch.
According to him, as the Group CEO, he never wanted a candidate from any agency. “I needed someone from a related industry but with a slightly different perspective and worldview from core advertising. Meaning someone from within or from another agency, would not meet the group’s objectives, given the “new perspective of the advertising business and especially the kind of resources to manage new trends”.
Lampe has traversed different C-Level positions in marketing across some of the leading and highly respected multinational companies locally and internationally. These include Nielsen Company, where he served as Managing Director, Nielsen West Africa between 2015 –2016. He was responsible for The Nielsen Company’s business operations across West Africa, with People and P&L accountability; Cadbury Nigeria (Marketing Director) Cadbury (East and Central Africa) as Marketing Director, Nutricima Limited (Marketing Director); Zain as Marketing Director (Segments) and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare as Africa Marketing Director-Family Nutrition. He never worked in an advertising agency talk-less running one. This may be an audacious, dangerous move but appears to be well thought out. And there arose the question.
Lampe never worked in an agency but understands the agency business thoroughly and has worked with Nigerian and foreign agencies, explains Mr. Akinwunmi, who is contented that Lampe is a foremost marketing authority and is in tune with current clients’ expectations. “His forte is Strategic development and he is an authority in it. He is calm, God fearing and very humble. He’s active in ADVAN”, he declares with air of satisfaction.
Explaining, the how far the search that eventually produced Mr. Omoyele, “I was tempted to look into the Continent for a replacement for Bunmi and actually had a meeting outside Nigeria on the matter, but was not convinced we had to bring in an expatriate for the position. We must be the only large group that has never hired an expatriate. I have such great faith in Nigerian resources and people. We need all of these for strategic reasons”.
The Group CEO is delighted for the choice as he confidently expresses, “Now in 141-Worldwide we have someone that understands clients’ new expectations and will drive the business to the next level, from the client perspective”. It’s a strategic engagement and possibly one of the most far reaching in the industry, he boasts. Pleased, with the moves so far, the initial challenges notwithstanding, Mr. Akinwunmi reveals that this will most likely be the PG Group’s trend as it morphs into a strategic communication and marketing development group, from just an ad agency group.