Airtel Kenya’s has had a rough year as the last of its communications executive, Jesse Kisenya leaves the firm for greener pastures in a non-tech FMCG firm following Charles Wanjohi who was the firm’s Marketing Director, product managers Marion Wanyoike, Stephen Maina, Digital Manager Muthoni Maingi and Corporate Affairs director Dick Omondi.
Jesse is the second last of the magical team that brought together campaigns like Airtel Rising Stars, Airtel Hadithi, UnlimiNET among others. He’s worked with some of the leading PR practitioners in the company who include the Corporate Affairs director Dick Omondi and Airtel Africa’s Vice President – Corporate Communications & CSR Michael Okwiri since he joined the firm in June 2012 as a Corporate Communication Assistant.
Though Jesse isn’t going to Safaricom like most of his colleagues above or starting his own firm like his immediate former boss Omondi, hi s leaving the firm signifies an end to the firm’s creative marketing campaigns that put competitor Safaricom on its knees forcing it to poach Airtel’s marketing team one by one. With Jesse set to leave the firm at the end of the month, Airtel executives will have an assignment to build an entirely new communications department from scratch but chances are, it will take a while for the team to build a culture and redefine Airtel to the youth again.
It will be even harder for the firm to crack the market as it moves its communications functions away from the marketing department to the Legal and Regulatory Affairs department which will slow down execution of Public Relations strategies and drag Airtel’s brand equity management due to bureaucracy.