Barkers Ogilvy Appoints Alex Chishiri as Chief Operating Officer
Barker McCormac Ogilvy & Mather (BMcCO&M) one of the largest and most certainly the longest establishment in the Zimbabwean advertising and marketing industry has appointed Alexander Chishiri, previously, the Finance Director, to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer with effect from the 1st of May 2017.
Alex is a twenty (20) year advertising industry veteran, having started his advertising career in 1996 at Carroll O’Donovan Hardy (CODH) a TBWA affiliate agency then as a Finance manager before being appointed to position of Financial Director a few months later. He became part of the Ogilvy Zimbabwe family in 2001 initially at CM&A Advertising (an associate company of Barkers Ogilvy) when Ogilvy and CODH agreed to merge their businesses. He then later moved to take over the Finance Director role at Barkers Ogilvy at the Brand Building in 2005 after the retirement of the then incumbent FD (the late) George Penney.
He was instrumental in the growth and integration of various agencies into the Ogilvy Zimbabwe group through mergers and acquisitions. Alex Chishiri who holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Nottingham Trent University and is also an associate member of the United Kingdom based Chartered Institute Of Management Accountants (CIMA) as well as being a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) has also been involved in shaping the local advertising industry, having served as the Treasurer for the advertising industry mother body ZAAPA (Zimbabwe Association of Accredited Practitioners in Advertising) as well as other subcommittee roles.
In the new COO role, Alex will take over the day to day running of the agency, from Styx O’Donovan who leaves his position of Managing Director to take up the more strategic position of Deputy Chairman. This is part of the key changes at Barkers Ogilvy which also see Eb Ayisa leading the creative team as Executive Creative Director, Paul Danisa as Client Services Director and Mrs Priscilla Chingosho becomes the Administration and Finance Director.
Announcing the appointment of Alex Chishiri and the re-organisation at a staff meeting, the Barkers Ogilvy Chairman and Group CEO, Alistair Carlisle highlighted that the move was meant to “re-energise the agency by putting the best people into the best positions so that we can serve our clients and market better with relevance in this very difficult environment”. No one in the advertising and marketing industry will fail to recognise Alistair Carlisle (with his white hair and deep voice) who has served the industry with distinction and has been the face of Ogilvy in Zimbabwe for decades ……but does the appointment of Chishiri signify the passing of the baton and imply Ogilvy in Zimbabwe has a new face…..? Some people inside the agency clearly think this is so, although the man himself says “I still have a few more years to go…. I can’t afford to retire….”says Mr Carlisle.
Despite his financial background, those close to the agency point out that Alex likes to and has been deeply involved in all aspects of the agency business for some time now, an attribute which should serve him well in his new role. Briefing staff on how he sees himself in the role, the new COO said, “Basically I see my role as a facilitator, ensuring that the agency team works well together with deeper integration across the agency’s disciplines using advanced and modern marketing tools to provide solutions for clients. Gone are the days of the traditional agency mentality, the team has to work closely with clients to understand their businesses so we can deliver transformation and service offerings that enable both the client and ourselves to stay ahead of the curve in this highly challenging Zimbabwean communications market”.
Having recently completed courses in Digital Marketing and Social Media, through the University of Cape Town, Alex also sees this area of the marketing discipline playing an important role in clients’ and brands’ quest to communicate and engage with the consumer going forward.
Alex believes that although change and uncertainty have become the norm, Barkers Ogilvy is well positioned to equip and resource clients with tools required taking advantage of the challenges and opportunities of modern marketing. By offering clarity, simplicity and uniting the best of Ogilvy talent, at Barkers Ogilvy we should be able to help our clients reach their goals more quickly through a shared purpose and integrated approach that makes it easier for clients to find the creative solutions and experience they seek within the agency.
The MD for Ogilvy PR Singapore, (Rong Chong) once said at the time of her appointment, “David Ogilvy often spoke about being the company of giants. Of the many specialisms we have at Ogilvy, our greatest gift lies in the immense talent that exists in this agency network. Simply put, we have some tremendously amazing people! My focus will be on making sure we continue to groom these giants who share the passion for creating great work. I will also focus on making brands matter (our own included), by bringing the best of Ogilvy and giving our all in everything we do”. Alex shares the same sentiments and is also very much looking forward to partnering with clients, the Ogilvy network and the agency teams to bring this transformation story to life at Barkers Ogilvy.
A father to three daughters, Samantha (21), Cassandra (16) and Alhandra (7), Alex is married to Prisca. When not consumed with finding brand building solutions, he is an ardent fitness fan, running “cardio groove” team sessions daily at the agency after work with some of the staff. He is passionate about Liverpool FC, (truly believing YNWA), is keen on Karate and has recently caught the fisherman’s bug. A catholic Christian from conception, Alex also spent six years at the Jesuit school, St Ignatius College, Chishawasha where he did his secondary education in the late 80’s.
About Barkers Ogilvy
Barker McCormac Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the Zimbabwe, having been serving the market for well over fifty (50) years. Since 1996, it has been part of the Ogilvy Worldwide Network which has more than 500 offices in 126 countries and has been named the Cannes Lions Network of the Year for five consecutive years, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016; and the EFFIEs World’s Most Effective Agency Network in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Locally the agency has won numerous awards in the NGOMA creative awards and was named Super Brand of the Year for the years 2013 & 2014 by the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, (MAZ) in the advertising and marketing category. The company is a full service marketing consultancy firm providing client solutions in the following disciplines: advertising; public relations; branding and identity/logo development; brand activations; shopper and retail marketing; creative and logo design, digital and social media marketing; promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics; web and app development; media strategy, planning and media buying; and other specialist communications. Barkers Ogilvy services international brands as well as local businesses throughout Zimbabwe and beyond through the Ogilvy network.