In continuation of the restructuring of its operations, Mr Toke Alex-Ibru has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Guardian (https://Guardian.ng).
This development emerged as Mr Martins Oloja, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief steps down following notice of retirement, which will expire at the end of March 2024.
In an announcement by the newspaper’s Board yesterday, Alex-Ibru is expected to deploy his experience in the corporate industry to enrich the brand equity of the 40-year-old newspaper.
Alex-Ibru attended Cranleigh School and Wellington College. He is a 2002 History graduate of the University of Exeter, United Kingdom, and an alumni member of IESE Business School in Spain, where he did his Executive Education in Media and Entertainment.
He has had over 15 years of commercial experience in publishing and seven years in hospitality management.
In his former capacity as an Executive Director, he has been involved in the management, development and sustainability of the newspaper, coupled with his roles in its digital transformation and membership of The Guardian Editorial Board.
In 2003, he established Lexan Media Services Ltd, which provides consulting services to global brands entering the Nigerian market and in 2005 he introduced Time Out magazine to the country, which published Time Out Lagos and Time Out Abuja under the license of the ‘Time Out Group’, UK.
He has been a Commercial representative of the Financial Times, UK since 2010, just as the platform published several annual special reports on Nigeria, including FT Nigeria Oil and Gas and FT Investing in Nigeria.
Alex-Ibru is currently a director on the boards of Ikeja Hotels Plc, Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc and is the Chairman of Charles Hampton, a subsidiary of Ikeja Hotels and in equity partnership with Lagos State Government’s Ibile Holdings. He is the Publisher of Marie Claire Nigeria under licence from the Marie Claire International media group in France.
He also sits on the advisory boards of WARIF International, Board of Governors Member of Trinity Foundation (Ibru Ecumenical Centre) and the Nigerian-Belgium Chamber of Commerce.
His interests include, philosophy, reading, travelling, tennis, running, yoga and meditation.
Recall that the restructuring of the newspaper began in April last year when the outgoing MD/Editor-in-Chief, Oloja, announced the former Business Editor, Dr Oluwafemi Adekoya, as Editor (daily) of the newspaper. Adekoya had then replaced Mr Alabi Williams, who is now a member of the Editorial Board under the chairmanship of Professor Wale Omole, former Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
At the same time, the Saturday and Sunday editions of the newspaper were consolidated as Weekend editions and Dr Kabir Alabi Garba, another fresh scholar in the newsroom, was appointed as Editor of the Weekend publications, while another young intellectual and head of the aviation desk, Dr Wole Oyebade, was named Deputy Editor, (daily).
According to the departing MD/EiC, Oloja last night, “The disruption of the management operations is on course, and the young ones in charge now have done well to continue with the legacy of the founder of the great newspaper. I am very proud of my initiative to fight for young scholars to take over the editorial management of the editorial operations. So, the Board is just solidifying the model we started in April by the appointment of Toke as CEO.”
“This is the new deal in this digital journalism age. We will continue to support the Board and Management operations with institutional memories. The Guardian school of journalism alumni association is quite remarkable, and the support will continue to be significant from outside as you witnessed during the November 28, 2023, 40th Anniversary lecture and launch of The Guardian Federalist Papers”.
Oloja, “Inside Stuff With MARTINS OLOJA” columnist, since 2016, who has served The Guardian as Abuja Bureau Chief/Deputy Editor, Editor, (daily), Editor-in-Chief and fourth Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, has been praised by the Publisher and Chairman of the Board, Lady Maiden Alex Ibru for his more than 24 years of “invaluable, remarkable and unblemished service records” in the company.
In a letter to the departing MD/EiC, the publisher noted, “…indeed, the retirement is well earned”.
Meanwhile the Board appreciates and “thanks Oloja, “for devoting your professional career to the service of the company”. The Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Oloja gained professional prominence as Editor of the premier newspaper in the nation’s capital, Abuja Newsday 1990-1993). He later served as Senior Associate Editor of The Source (newsmagazine) where he won two Nigerian Media Merit Awards (NMMA).
Oloja remains a member of the Editorial Board where he had served as a member, coordinator, chief editorial writer since 2012 when he was appointed Editor.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Guardian.