Founder of The Billybo Group
With over 30 years of experience, Mike started his career experience at the University of Pretoria as President of Student Representative Council and Chairperson of the National RAG Organisation of South Africa.
Armed with a BCom from Tukkies, he completed an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch also obtaining a distinction for his thesis, “Black Economic Empowerment with specific reference to the Informal Sector”. Mike gained further experience in various executive roles which included CMO of Computicket, Strategic Marketing Director of Ogilvy, CMO of Diageo South Africa, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. South Africa and EVP of Marketing for Levi Strauss & Co in Europe. Upon returning to South Africa, he founded The BrandsRock Group, a successful brand solutions company.
Five years later, his entrepreneurial adventure was rewarded when he successfully sold his business to the Publicis Groupe where it merged with Saatchi & Saatchi. Here he remained involved as Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa until March 2017.
In 2017 he founded The Billybo Group, a collective of experienced business founders, marketing leaders and creative alchemists, where he now thrives in using his experience to create value for other businesses. He has facilitated, curated and collaborated on numerous strategic projects over the last few years, working with the CEOs and executive leadership teams of WWF®, Freddy Hirsch Group, Brown Forman, Pam Golding Properties, RGBC, Abagold, Hermanus Tourism, Stone Three, Knife Capital and Tracker SA. He specialises in purpose-driven business strategy, brand leadership, digital innovation, sales-driven marketing and the development of entrepreneurs.
Mike has extensive governance experience having served on numerous boards during his career, notably the Levi Strauss Foundation, SA Fashion Council, Cape Town Fashion Council, KWV (Pty) Ltd, Project Literacy and the Marketing Federation of South Africa. He currently serves as a global board director of Population Services International (PSI), Chairperson for PSI Health Services in South Africa, Non-Executive Chairperson of Quicket, Executive Chairman of Shopstar, Non-Executive Board Director
at Clark Holdings, Advisory Board Member at Ctrl Technologies and Non-Executive Board Director at Fanfire. He also serves as a trustee of WWF® South Africa.
He was awarded “South African Marketing Person of the Year” in 2006 at the Sunday Times Markinor Marketing Excellence Awards.
Mike also regularly assists SMEs with strategic business and brand advice and is an active mentor and investor in South African start-ups.