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Summary

I am a cross-functional Business, Marketing & Advertising professional with over 25 years experience. Over those years I have skilled myself up across all the key areas including Business strategy, Marketing & Brand Management, Sales, Media, Advertising, Activations, Digital Marketing, Social marketing, Sponsorship management & marketing, e-Commerce, Digital Product design & CX.  I am a strategist by trade but for the last decade and a half, I have been running various multi-national agencies as the Deputy MD, MD, CEO or Group CEO forming part of both regional and global leadership teams.  I currently report to Singapore and prior to that, London.  The businesses ranged in revenue from R100M to over R1billion, with a headcount range of about 50 to over 1000.  I was both a shareholder and a board director in all of these businesses often dealing with global stakeholders due to the multinational nature of the Holding companies.

Currently I lead the Song Business Group for Accenture with a FY22 revenue of over R1 Billion ($60M) including an acquisition I made of the creative agency called the King James Group which has been voted the most admired advertising agency in SA. 

Beyond business I played hockey for South Africa and I am currently the head of Marketing & Sponsorship for SAHA.  Beyond hockey I am a passionate motorcyclists.

BEE Status

I am a BEE candidate.  Coloured Male.

Work experience

05-2020Date

Africa Lead @ Accenture Song

Accenture

Accenture Song is the business unit within Accenture that focuses on our clients growth agenda.  We deliver Strategy & Consulting, Technology & Operations for Marketing, e-Commerce, Digital Product & Service.  I manage a direct team of around 600 onshore headcount with another indirect 1000+ off-shore.

In this ever changing world the power of creativity to solve complex business problems is the secret sauce.  To this end I have acquired the most admired agency in South Africa, King James Group,  into Accenture to leave the unleashing of creativity, data & technology.  The acquisition of KJG is the first ever acquisition done in Africa for Accenture in it's over 50 year history on the continent.  My key clients include Telco, Retail, Automotive, Financial Services, Energy and Healthcare industries.

I form part of a market unit comprising Africa, India, UAE & KSA.  We are currently expanding our offer to service all of these markets from SA.  I currently support the US market and Europe for creative services including Advertising, Service Design, Front-End development, Digital marketing, Agile skills and analytics.

As part of Accenture Africa Exco I am jointly accountable for Accenture Africa with over R5 Billion ($300 M) revenue and over 2500 people as well as being a board director of Accenture Song (PTY) ltd.

2019-052020-04

Group CEO

Wunderman Thompson SA

Wunderman has been merged with JWT, Africa's oldest agency, established in 1928, to form Wunderman Thompson both globally and in South Africa.  I was appointed to the above role for the combined business which totals over 600 people in 3  South African cities.   JWT is a traditional full-service advertising agency that services the likes of Unilever, Diageo, J&J, Oceana, Pioneer Foods and many others.  The group is made up of Wunderman Thompson main agency, Cerebra Social Media Agency, The Hardy Boys and Mirum digital agency.  Globally the agency counts in excess of 20 000 people in over 90 countries.  I report into the EMEA CEO based in London.  Our global HQ is in NY.  Wunderman Thompson is the largest agency in the listed entity, WPP.

2016-042019-04

Group CEO

Wunderman SSA (WPP)

Wunderman Sub Saharan Africa

 

Wunderman is a global, digital first Integrated agency.  The SA Group of businesses was anchored around the merger of Aqua Online, Base 2 and Wunderman Marketing.  Both Aqua & Wunderman are well over 20 years old and have established histories and identities.  Part of the group are also 2 specialist agencies.  The 1st is considered the leader in Social Media marketing in the country called Cerebra and the 2nd is a large Marketing Technology practice called Applogix.  This along with satellite offices in Nigeria and Kenya form the group of companies that make up Wunderman Sub-Saharan Africa.  This integrated group did not exist before I took over and all operated as independent stand-alone brands.  The 1st thing I did was to unify as many as possible into 1 brand called Wunderman SA and have the Wunderman Group for the specialist brands that fell outside of that unification.  Then, I brought everyone together on 1 campus.  Removed all back-end duplication and started establishing a single culture.  This is a slow-burn process, but the business is virtually unrecognisable from its fragmented roots.  The Wunderman Brand was in recess and I pulled that to the forefront and drove it hard through PR and New Business wins.  The Scopen research showed Wunderman spontaneous recall in the Top 10, significantly up from our best performing agency brand, Aqua Online’s, previous rating.   This is particularly rewarding, as the strategy of unification has shown  fruits much quicker than my boldest scenario plan could have predicted.  Paper success can often be misleading, but the clients  have followed. We won Telkom’s full integrated business, Standard Bank’s PBBSA digital marketing, Shell Integrated business, GSK integrated business, Nestle Purina’s global website business, Sanofi’s Integrated business, numerous Digital Transformation projects and many more.  The business now boasts a staff complement of around 450+ people with an annual revenue of over R350M.

I was also on the WPP African Leadership Council which is a governing body for all WPP Agencies in Africa.  We are the conduit between local and global and also guide policy and matters that concern all WPP agencies, such as Transformation and Co-opetition.

2015-012016-03

CEO

Pangea Ultima

Pangea Ultima is a full service creative agency that deploys a new way of working. We control the client, strategy and the idea, whilst using independent executional partners. I extracted the creative and strategic capability from that business (see reason below) and brought 2 business partners in, who are both highly experienced and awarded Executive Creative Directors.  Within months we won Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical giant.  We acquired both the South African business and the Sub-Saharan business run out of Dubai. Our brands include Pharmaton, Buscopan, Dulcolax, Antistax and Bisolvon.  I sold my shares when offered the opportunity to join Global Digital Agency giant Wunderman.

2014-032016-07

Chairman

HGT Investments

This is an investment company that owns the Krypton Action Bar franchise.  This is a sports and pool bar franchise servicing the young adult market in SA.  The operating business was sold but the brand and it's operating system is still held by the company.

2010 - 052014 - 02

Chief Executive Officer

(Previously Sail Sport & Entertainment) Trinergy Brand Connectors (Now OpenField)

Having a strong desire to fully understand the full communication spectrum, I was offered a massive opportunity to head up the largest Sponsorship Agency in SA just months before the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The agency had just recently rebranded after market research showed that sponsorship as a communication lever needed to become more integrated into the broader communication mix. I was tasked by the board to convert the business into a creatively led sponsorship agency. This proved a monumental task as change is generally very difficult to deal with and even more so when dealing with a 2 decade old system. I proceeded to bring in a highly sought after Strategic Planning Director and a highly awarded Executive Creative Director. We then built a team that fundamentally transformed the business; ultimately creating an entirely new agency model that had both creative and operational capability in one.  Our biggest account was Vodacom SA (also the largest sponsorship account in the country), which rebranded to Vodafone during this period.  This was a massive strategic shift and challenge, as we needed to launch a new brand idea and identity without losing a very loyal base.  I partnered with the then CMO to craft a transition that was hailed by the Vodafone global CEO as "benchmark work" for future migrations in other parts of the world.  The work won both internal (local and global) and external awards.  We did both sponsorship management managing sporting bodies all the way from the PSL & SARU to teams like the Bulls, Kaizer Chiefs & Orlando Pirates and last but not least, properties like Superugby & Vodacom Challenge to name but a few.  We also managed all of the leverage from in-the-ropes, broadcast, activations and campaigns.

2006 - 042010 - 04

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR : STRATEGY

The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg

The Jupiter Drawing room was a stable business that had hit a glass ceiling and found growth very difficult to come by.  Having identified a massive opportunity to be a change agent that could create value, I bought into the business and took an Executive Director role, with Strategy as one of my key deliverables.  Within months of my arrival ,three of the biggest accounts in SA came out to pitch.  I led all three pitches strategically and partnered with three separate creative leads.  We were the only Agency on all three pitch lists and chose to go for all of them.  Global history was made when we executed what is famously known as the“ Perfect Storm”.  We landed all 3 accounts in 3 consecutive days: ABSA(banking), MTN(telco) and Sasol (petrochemical).  We broke the R1billion rand in revenue mark and all this brought us global fame and resulted in a congratulations call from Sir Martin Sorrell, which subsequently led to WPP acquiring 49% of our agency. I sold the bulk of my shares and retained a minority stake.  We also proceeded to win Agency of the Decade in 2010.  

2001-02 2006-03

DEPUTY MD & STRATEGIC PLANNING DIRECTOR

Ogilvy Johannesburg

I joined Ogilvy Johannesburg as a Strategic Planner & Group Account Director on 2 ailing brands.  Amstel Lager and Audi were both with the business for many years and were both in trouble.  With the brands shaky, the client relationships were also wavering.  I evolved both brands over a 3 year period that saw both the numbers and the relationships turn.  Off the back of this success I was given a broader portfolio and eventually made Strategic Planning Director and a shareholder.  The department grew to be the strongest strategic planning team in the country, with 5 members of that team becoming Strategic Planning Directors over the years.  The current Group Strategy Director of Ogilvy was bred from that "class".  As a member of the board I successfully took on broader business responsibility that eventually contributed to my appointment to Deputy MD.

1999-052001-01

Senior Brand Manager

inthebag.co.za

Inthebag.co.za was one of SA's first true online businesses, backed by the retail giant, Wooltru.  It was based on the Clicks-And-Bricks model with Woolworths offering the "bricks” support for this venture.  Being first to market proved very exciting and challenging at the same time.   As distribution was phased in, our marketing activities built over time, following the penetration.  Local area marketing scaled in tandem for 6 months until we reached national distribution.  We then went full 360 degree and created the first Television commercial for an online business in SA.  Added to this we used the relatively new tool of e-mail marketing which became a key weapon in our arsenal.  Online marketing was still in it's infancy as internet penetration was still a significant barrier to reach the mass market.  Despite these challenges we were tracking way ahead of forecast within 2 years.   Recognition of this success has come with inthebag.co.za winning the best “Clicks and Bricks” business in South Africa. Unfortunately, the Nasdeq lost 78% of it's value and faith in this "new model" came crashing down, with our investor backing out of the stand-alone model and absorbed it into Woolworths.  With the rise of e-commerce today, I look back and see that we were literally 2 decades ahead of our time, but the world has come full circle as I am now consulting to Woolworths to rebuild their e-Commerce capability including redesigning and launching the new Dash App whilst completely reimagining the value proposition and functionality.  We are both the consulting and technology partner driving the value office, creating the backlog and delivering the MVPs to market at scale through a Digital factory Model.

1999-072000-11

Brand Manager

Goodhope FM

Goodhope FM is one of the oldest SABC radio stations in the country and was rapidly losing relevance with it's core market, 18 -35.  I then embarked on a strategy to reinvigorate the brand, which included a change of agency, identity and launched a new full 360 campaign.  The poor perception of the brand was not isolated to consumers (listeners) but media agencies held a similar view.  The brand reinvigoration started with the consumer facing brand and campaign that saw the brand attributes scores hitting all time highs. The B2B component was done on a 1-2-1 basis using roadshows that took the station to the agencies, with live broadcasts from their offices, supported by a joint presentation from the Station Manager and myself.  Sales returned to 10 year highs. I successfully set the station on it's path to recovery.

1997-111999-06

Key Account Representative

Warner Lambert

My key accounts included Pick‘ n Pay, Shoprite Checkers, Clicks, Diskom and some of the larger 7-11' s in Cape Town, Somerset West, Grabouw and Hermanus. My core role was forecasting and ordering-in the complete catalogue including Halls, Dentyne, Clorets, Rascals, Bubbaloo, Sen Sen, Vita-C, Listerine, Listermint, Chamberlains and Shick Shaving Systems. My role further included monitoring and enforcing shelf space allocations, erecting and maintaining“ Point Of Sale” stands, shelf talkers and shelf defenders. I had a team of 2 merchandisers and we physically did all our own merchandising across all the stores listed above.  I successfully tracked against monthly targets and never missed one.

1996-101997-10

Media Planner

Sky Graphics

I received a job offer back in my hometown of Port Elizabeth whilst I was still finishing my Post Graduate Diploma at AAA.  I accepted the offer, did my internship and stayed on as a Media Planner.   Being a small agency, I started driving not only the media strategy for our clients, but also the creative strategies, which eventually became my focus.  Armed with this kick-start job experience I moved to Cape Town and crossed to the client side.

Skills

Business Strategy & General Management

I have successfully run multi-million rand companies including a few turn-arounds, multiple mergers and acquisitions.  All these all required complex business back & front office transformations as well as significant integration and branding challenges.  I have a proud record of always achieving double-digit profit whilst significantly growing revenues in these environments.  The toughest part of any business is people management and having merged or acquired businesses with founders and history - all senior and successful in their own right, I have a near perfect record on senior talent attrition whilst growing headcount significantly into the hundreds on multiple occasions.  This continues to be one of the most noteworthy factors that has fuelled my success to date.  

Marketing & Brand Strategy

I am a strategist by trade and transcend the full consumer spectrum from Marketing to Brand and through to Creative & Media strategy.  I have had the privilege of plying my trade as a Strategy SME across multiple multinational brands and businesses.  The list is too extensive but I have worked in almost every category including Automotive, FMCG, Financial Services, Sporting Brands, Telco, Entertainment, QSR and many more working both B2B & B2C.

Customer Experience (CX)

Developing end-end Customer Experience journeys from deep seated research translated into actionable plans.  This has become a holding idea for all consumer channels & touch-points.  This predominantly and more recently plays out in a digital world, but the human touch remains powerful.  This covers all experience and product design, packaging, digital marketing, e-Commerce, service design, communications and other key areas.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship management and leverage is by far the most under-utilised brand building lever in the marketing mix.  I am a passionate proponent of showing the commercial value, brand value and total experience value that a well utilised property can bring.  No marketing lever scores more own goals (pun intended) than sponsorship.  It's not enough to drive saliency and event activation in the modern world.  It is about the depth of experience translated beyond the "ropes" and even beyond the screen.  The digital revolution and enablers like 5G are set to transform both event, broadcast and experience.  To capture this opportunity we need to be Agile and future-fit.  This is what I obsess about and have constantly pushed the boundaries on.  We launched the new Vodacom (Vodafone) brand in SA using a House music festival at Orlando stadium using never before seen technology and created an experience that developed into us launching a music brand with Black Coffee and combining a symphony orchestra with a DJ.  We called it Africa Rising and made a DVD with the live show at Moses Mabhida.  Not once did the consumer feel sold to but actually asked for more "sponsorship marketing".  To complete the arsenal in this world, brilliant advertising is the final arrow in the quiver.  With MTN's sponsorship of the World Cup we launched Ayoba which became part of the lexicon of SA at that point and even the "Sparta" execution we did for Sasol's sponsorship of the Springboks or Elton & Jan for Player 23 crowned broader activations.  These are iconic pieces that close the loop and is often ignored by sponsors and rights or property owners.

Education

20012002

Chartered Marketer of SA (Professional Qualification)

Graduate School of Marketing

Strategic Marketing Management

19951996

Post Graduate diploma in Advertising

AAA School of Advertising

Strategic Brand Management

19901995

Bachelor of Arts

University of Port Elizabeth

Psychology and Sociology Majors