Passion, it is said, is the energy that keeps us going. It keeps us filled with meaning, happiness, excitement, and even anticipation. It is considered a powerful force in accomplishing anything one sets one’s mind on.
In our society, one of the few men who have achieved greatness on the altar of passion is Atedo Peterside, a boardroom titan with an intimidating profile. Always driven by passion, his entrepreneurship skill, without exaggeration, is legendary. He is definitely not your run-off-the-mill businessman.
The maverick entrepreneur founded Investment Banking and Trust Company (IBTC) in February 1989 when he was just 33 years old, making him the youngest bank CEO in Nigeria then. Unarguably, his success story is a lesson to many, especially youngsters whom he has mentored. It is therefore understandable the mixed reactions that have continued to trail the news of his resignation from the companies he laboured to grow.
The billionaire, a few weeks ago, quit as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Cadbury Nigeria Plc. This is coming less than three months after he also announced his resignation from the board of three other blue-chip companies as a director. In April, Peterside resigned his position as a director of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc as well as Unilever Nigeria Plc. The River State-born businessman took over leadership of the board of directors of Cadbury on 21 April 2010 after joining the company in 2009 as a director.
His sudden exit has, therefore, put an end to Peterside’s 10-year reign on the board.
He reportedly quit companies so he could focus on running the ANAP Foundation, a non-profit organisation that he initially set up to promote good governance in Nigeria.
His decision was informed by the deathless quote of the late German theologian and author, Albert Schweitzer, that “the purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.’’
It was disclosed that in the wake of the global pandemic, Peterside floated the foundation’s COVID-19 think tank and it became imperative for him to personally lead the work of the Foundation.