The journey out of the flagship of Nigeria’s vibrant press, The Guardian, on Apapa-Oshodi expressway (Lagos), began for about 25 percent of its 432 workforce this morning (Tuesday, June 28) as they were not allowed into the company’s premises. Their termination letters were distributed at the gate, and only those who still have a job at Rutam House could go in.
The letters were reportedly arranged by departments, and unlucky staffers identified and handed the bad news.
The gate of the newspaper owned by the legendary Ibru family are locked, and staffers are assembled there discussing the sack.
Yesterday night (Monday, June 27), those who usually worked late received their letters. And insiders told encomium.ng that three senior staffers got the sad news as they left the premises. We were informed that Jewel Dafinone (acting editor), Kunle Sanyaolu (Legal department) and Banji Adisa (training editor) were affected.
Last year, The Guardian was advised by their consultants, Deloitte and Touché, to right size. And they conducted an exercise where staffers were told to explain their roles in the company. The exercise was completed this year, and the board and senior management met to discuss the issues about two week ago. They were told that the termination of about 130 staffers would start at the end of June. But it is unclear whether today’s action is the first phase.
Many directors are also leaving. And Lady Maiden Ibru, whose husband Alex Ibru started the newspaper in the 80s, is stepping down as chairman of the board. She will, however, retain her position as publisher and also become a non-executive director. A new chief executive officer will be appointed, and many are touting that her 35 year old son Toke Ibru, an executive director, may move up the ladder.
There are also three new positions (chief financial officer, chief commercial officer and managing editor).