There was a shockwave across the Nigerian marketing landscape as Olu Akanmu, Chief Marketing Officer of Airtel Nigeria on Wednesday may 22, 3013 resigned his appointment following the intractable crises between the telecom company and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) on the one hand, and PrimaGarnet Africa, on the other.
According inside sources, Olu Akanmu, one of Nigeria’s most respected marketing icons, threw in the towel after he discovered that Airtel, in breach of APCON rules, published an advert in one of Nigeria’s national dailies without getting clearance from him.
Akanmu, it was learnt felt very peeved by the antics of the Indian owners of the Airtel brand to publish that advert without reverting to his office, a factor he claimed, that suggested lack of respect for his office as Chief Marketing Officer.
Akanmu, who was said to have expressed his anger over the published advert, which was in clear violation a court order that Airtel should maintain status quo in a dispute it has with Lolu Akinwunmi’s Prima Garnet, was reported to have expressed his disappointment to the management of Airtel over the company’s inclination to disobey the orders of properly constituted Nigerian courts.
With the resignation of Olu Akanmu from Airtel, the crises brewing between Scanad Nigeria, an agency owned by Indian Bharat Thakrar and Nigerian frontline advertising agency, Prima Garnet, has claimed its first major scalp.
Olu joined Airtel only in 2012 after a major stint with BankPHB, one of the banks nationalized by the Federal Government during the controversial clean-up by the current Central bank of Nigeria Governor, Lamido Sanusi.
Prior to his appointment, he served as the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Retail and Consumer Banking in Bank PHB, where he was responsible for the delivery of the retail business annual profit across 97 dedicated retail branches and additional 90 business co-location branches nationwide.
He also worked at MTN Nigeria where he spent half a decade as General Manager, Consumer Marketing in charge of consumer business strategy.
Additionally Akanmu worked at Insight-Gray Nigeria, Oxford Center for Innovation, UK, Population Service International/ Society for Family Health, South Africa and Glaxo Nigeria Limited.
A 1985 Pharmacy graduate of University of Ife, Nigeria, Akanmu has attended several management and leadership programmes at reputable institutions such as INSEAD, London Business School and Lagos Business School. In 1998, he achieved a distinction to emerge as the overall best student among 87 managers in the management advancement programme 37 of he Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.