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Meet Adebayo Alli: First Nigerian Guinness MD in 10 years


The Board of Guinness Nigeria Plc has appointed Adebayo Alli as its new MD and chief executive officer with effect from January 1, 2024.

This appointment makes Alli, the first Nigerian to hold the position since 2014 when Seni Adetu, stepped down as the company’s MD/chief executive officer.

According to a statement by the company on Tuesday, Bayo is a commercially astute leader with a transformative and collaborative leadership style.

“He holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ibadan, and an MSc in Advanced Process Engineering from Loughborough University, United Kingdom,” the statement said.

It said Alli joined Diageo in 2005 as a Packaging Operations Support Manager and has worked in several senior leadership roles across manufacturing, supply, and commercial.

“He is a well-rounded executive with almost two decades of broad experience and leadership across supply chain, manufacturing, program management, and sales.

“He has a proven track record of transforming business units, optimising end-to-end supply chains, leading commercial organisations to breakthrough and delivering results through a diverse and inclusive team in complex, uncertain, and disruptive environments,” It added.

The incoming MD who is a mechanical engineer by training, has been with Diageo since 2005. He has held a variety of leadership roles, including project lead for a business transformation project in Meta Abo Brewery Limited, Ethiopia.

In 2013, he moved to Ethiopia on International Assignment to join Diageo’s Meta Abo Brewery Limited’s leadership team as the project lead for a business transformation project. He was subsequently promoted to Plant Manager in 2014 and appointed Supply Chain Director in 2015.

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He returned to Nigeria in 2017 as operations director and in pursuit of his general management ambition, he transitioned to commercial taking up several senior commercial sales roles in Guinness.

Between 2019 and 2020, Bayo was appointed and served briefly as the Director for IPS, Reserve & Modern Trade. In 2020, Bayo was appointed as the Commercial Director of Guinness Nigeria.

Here is a timeline of Guinness’s past MDs

John Musunga (Kenyan)

Before Alli, John Musunga, a Kenyan joined Diageo in March 2021 and was managing director of Kenya Breweries Limited. Before this, John had a highly successful career at GSK where he gained more than 25 years of experience in senior local, regional, and global roles.

Baker Magunda (Kenyan)

Magunda, a Kenyan took over from Peter Ndegwa as the CEO of Guinness Nigeria. Baker Magunda holds a Bachelor of Economics [Honours] from Makerere University Uganda.

He joined Diageo in 1999 as marketing manager, Uganda Breweries Limited and has held several increased leadership roles including Managing Director Uganda Breweries Limited, Managing Director Kenya Breweries Limited, and Managing Director Diageo Guinness Cameroon SA. Baker joins Guinness Nigeria from Diageo-owned Meta Abo Breweries in Ethiopia where he was the Managing Director.

Peter Ndegwa (Kenyan)

Peter Ndegwa was the MD of Guinness Nigeria and oversaw the transformation at the company, including the successful Rights Issue and implementation of the productivity programme.

John O’Keefe (Irish)

Keefe, an Irishman was Adetu’s successor. O’Keefe started his career as a graduate trainee for Guinness Ireland, holding many marketing roles in Ireland before moving to Jamaica as Marketing Director.

He became the Managing Director, of Russia and Eastern Europe based in Russia before returning to Ireland to take up his current role as Global Head of Diageo Innovation and Global Head of Beer & Baileys. Mr O’Keefe has been a Board member of Guinness Nigeria Plc for the past two years.

Seni Adetu (Nigerian)

Adetu, stepped down as the company’s managing director/chief executive officer in November 2014, after two and half years in that position. Prior to taking to the position, Adetu was the managing director of Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd; and East African Breweries Ltd.