By Olaseni Durojaiye
Seni Adetu was recently appointed to the board of Fidelity Bank as a non-executive director. His invitation to the board did not come as a surprise given his pedigree in management and his achievement as a business executive. He is armed with a vast experience which straddles different markets including Ghana, Nigeria, East Africa and United Kingdom.
Adetu is credited with considerable expertise in commercial, financial and corporate governance best practices, which he gained from his work experience with Diageo in the United Kingdom (UK) and leadership development programmes with Coca Cola Company in the United States (US).
He boasts of 30 years of distinguished private sector experience, having worked with various multinational companies at home and abroad. Adetu began his career in Marketing with John Holt Plc in 1986 and joined Coca-Cola International as Marketing Manager in 1992. While in the company, Adetu held various positions of increasing responsibilities in Sales, Marketing and General Management in several countries including Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.
In 1998, he became the first Nigerian and first African to be appointed Marketing Director for the Coca-Cola Company in Nigeria; and in 2001 became Managing Director Coca-Cola International for English West Africa (excluding Nigeria), based in Ghana.
Adetu joined Diageo Group, the parent company of Guinness in August 2006 and after a short stint in the UK office, again became the first-ever African Managing Director/CEO and Vice Chairman of Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd, based in Accra, Ghana. In 2008, he led his team to becoming the “Company of the Year” for Diageo/Guinness of all the International businesses.
In July 2009, Mr. Adetu was appointed Group Managing Director/CEO of Diageo East Africa and East African Breweries Ltd (EABL). His tenure at EABL witnessed significant turnaround in the company’s business.
He returned to Nigeria from Kenya to lead Guinness Nigeria Plc as its Managing Director/CEO while doubling as Executive Chairman of Diageo Brands Nigeria.
Renowned for championing innovation in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, under his watch, the business recorded considerable expansion in its production lines and brand portfolio, leading to the launch into the market of products like Snap, Orijin Bitters and Orijin Ready-to-drink among others. While he superintended the business, Spirit and high octane brands in the Diageo group also recorded considerable market penetration in Nigeria.
In response to media enquiries, a press statement from Guinness Nigeria Plc in December 2014 announcing his exit explained that Adetu quitting his position at Guinness Nigeria Plc to assume bigger responsibilities at Diageo Group in the United Kingdom.
A thought leader in business management and marketing, Adetu is a frequent speaker at various high profile marketing and corporate governance functions.
He is a Chemical Engineering graduate of the University of Lagos and holds an MBA with specialisation in Marketing from the same university. Adetu is Founder/Group CEO of First Primus West Africa Ltd, an upscale Integrated Marketing Communications company. He is a Leadership Coach and facilitator on the Chief Executive Programme of the Lagos Business School. He is married with children.