Adedeji emerges first-ever Nigerian director at LB Canada in 176 years

By Abimbola Mohammed

The Amazon and marketing guru, Tolulope Adedeji has added another feather to her cap as she got promoted to the position of Senior Director, Trade Marketing and Sales Operation at Labatta Breweries, Canada (Ab InBev).

Speaking to MARKETING EDGE in an exclusive interview from Canada, Adedeji said: “It is surreal to be the first Nigerian appointed as a Director in our 176 years of Canada business history. I feel excited and humbled to be entrusted with a business in billions of dollars. I look forward to partnering with our teams to delight our consumers and stakeholders.”

On whether she expected such an exalted position, Tolu said: “Well, I hoped for it and worked towards it, but one never knows for sure if and when dreams come true. It is Grace.”

She, however, added: “I must emphasize the importance of absolute commitment to the business and putting in 100% even when no one is applauding. I am aware I am representing several of our employees globally that do this too and I hope this encourages many to keep the consistency.

“You never know who is watching and who will speak for you when you are not there.”

Speaking on AB InBev’s brand DNA, and her experience in Nigeria and West Africa, the marketing Amazon said: “It is agile, ambitious, purposeful and humble. We are a company of owners.

“At International Breweries, a proud part of Anheuser Busch, we are always focused on meeting the consumer needs no matter how tough it is. We believe in common sense and simplicity even in the complex landscape we operate. We also manage our costs tightly to free up resources for things that matter the most: quality products and brands that meet our consumers’ needs even psychographically.”

On what to expect in her new role, Adedeji noted that she will endeavour to make a business impact while working with her team in the new terrain: “I am going to learn, unlearn, relearn and focus on what makes the biggest business impact. Of course, I will be leveraging my strengths and my teams too.”

Recall that, announcing her new role on her LinkedIn page recently, Tolu wrote: “I’m excited and humbled to share that I’m starting a new position as Senior Director, Trade Marketing and Sales Operations at Labatt Breweries of Canada! (AB InBev).”

“One of the things I love the most about AB InBev is our ambition. We dream big for our consumers and business.”

While appreciating her Nigerian team at AB InBev and her family, Adedeji wrote: “A big thank you to my leaders in Nigeria and African zone for this vote of confidence. A big thank you to my brand new NAZ Leaders, too, for taking a bet on this Naija gal. It’s time for some #blackexcellence. To my outgoing team, you are light and love.

“To our partner agencies, peers, mentees, coaches, employees, thank you for the trust and collaboration. We made magic and transformed the landscape. Be proud , and let’s humbly keep the ship sailing.

“To my family, we did it together. I am because you are.”

She encouraged all her readers not to ever stop believing in their dreams: “To anyone reading with a dream, never stop believing and putting in the work!”

Prior to her new appointment, Adedeji was the Marketing Director of AB InBev where she led the marketing teams in Nigeria and Ghana. Some of the iconic brands in her portfolio are Budweiser, Trophy, Hero, Flying fish, Club beer and Beta Malt.

She was appointed in November 2018. She was also an Executive Director on the Board of International Breweries Plc.

Before her current appointment, Tolu served in various capacities. She was Brand /Commercial Associate Director of Procter & Gamble Nigeria. Preceding this, she was the Brand and Commercial Leader of the P&G business in Ethiopia. Also before these, she held various Brand Manager roles.

Tolu’s career started in Finance for 4 years before joining Marketing. In her days at P&G where she worked on various brands such as Always, Pampers, Ariel, Gillette and Oral B in Nigeria. She also navigated these brands through a challenging macro economic recession in 2016.

Her work extended beyond borders; she qualified head & shoulder launch for South Africa, Kenya and Uganda and led the start up of P&G brands into Ethiopia.

Mrs. Adedeji holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Babcock University, a Masters of Business Administration from Obafemi Awolowo University and a Master’s of Science in International Management from the University of Liverpool, UK. She recently completed a programme with Harvard Business School. Tolu is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).

Tolu is passionate about growing businesses, children literacy, female empowerment and youth development. She authored Smart Sindara, the adventure series- a fiction book centered on self confidence, leadership and culture for African children. She is on the board of Caring friends foundation (NGO for children with special needs) and on the advisory board of Irede Foundation and more.


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