by MarkLives (@marklives) Alistair Mokoena, Ogilvy South Africa CEO, is leaving the communications group to take up the role of Google South Africa country director, effective April 2020, where he’ll oversee the commercial business for the search giant. He replaces Luke Mckend, who became LinkedIn director for Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe in November 2018.

Mokoena’s replacement at Ogilvy SA hasn’t yet been identified, according to the agency group.

“The digital economy presents many challenges and opportunities — particularly in developing markets like South Africa’s,” says Mokoena. “Technology is mainstream and the online digital world is no longer a challenger to the offline world. I am looking forward to joining Google South Africa, which is well-positioned to help South African organisations navigate a rapidly changing landscape as the online and offline worlds converge.”

“In high demand”

Says Angela Madlala, Ogilvy SA chief people officer, “One of the realities of being a business with our talent and track record is that our people are in high demand, both locally and internationally — over the last 18 months some of our senior people have taken up positions within Ogilvy and other businesses internationally. The upside of growing people and seeing them succeed is that we have had to entrench a deep commitment to succession planning and team leadership structures.”

In September 2019, Ogilvy SA group MD Luca Gallarelli left to join TBWA\South Africa as GCEO; in November, Ogilvy SA COO Joanna Oosthuizen left to take up a global position as director public relations & influence for Ogilvy’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region; and Pete Case, Ogilvy SA chief creative officer, also left at the end of 2019. Meanwhile, Ogilvy Johannesburg ECD Mariana O’Kelly took up a new position in Ogilvy’s global operations in Chicago in June last year.

Says Paul O’Donnell, Ogilvy EMEA CEO, “Across Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, Ogilvy South Africa has a highly experienced management team who will continue to steer the business while we identify the right candidate to join our South Africa Team as CEO.”

Mokoena holds an LLB from Rhodes University, an MBA from MANCOSA and is working towards a PhD from the North West University School of Business, due for completion this year. He is the new chairperson of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) SA board and was recently appointed Professor of Practice by the Johannesburg Business School.

See also

Updated at 11.04am on 17 January 2020.


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