Founder of The Billybo Group
Mike has over 30 years of experience. His leadership journey started at the University of Pretoria, where he served as President of the Student Representative Council and Chairperson of the National RAG Organisation of South Africa, laying a valuable foundation for his career.
He has since served in several executive corporate roles, including 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, Russia, and the Middle East. Switching from corporate to entrepreneur, Mike founded The BrandsRock Group in 2009 and led it to become a successful brand solutions company with over 40 staff and a portfolio of blue-chip clients. Five years later his business was acquired by the Publicis Groupe to become Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock.
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 and help the development of South African entrepreneurs.
Throughout his career, Mike has served on numerous boards, including the Levi Strauss Foundation, SA Fashion Council, KWV (Pty) Ltd, Marketing Federation of South Africa, and PSI Health Services in South Africa. He currently serves as a global board director of Population Services International (PSI), 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. Additionally, he serves as a trustee of WWF® SA.
In 2006, he was honored with the prestigious “South African Marketing Person of the Year” award at the Sunday Times Markinor Marketing Excellence Awards.
Mike is an active mentor and investor in South African start-ups and regularly assists SMEs and Investors with leadership, strategic business, and brand advice.
“People do not consume advertising anymore. They respond to what entertains, empowers, educates or informs them and respond to experiences with emotional relevance. So, engage with heart, convert with smart.”