She probably didn’t see it coming.
Only a few weeks ago, Alysia Moulton White lauded Sagicor for giving her a once in a lifetime opportunity to take her career to unforeseen heights, pledging fealty to the company that placed faith in her and elevated her to its C-suite.
On Monday came the surprising news that Sagicor would no longer be requiring her services, her position made redundant due to a restructuring exercise.
A terse company statement with a robotic tone about it read: “As part of a restructuring exercise announced in September, the position of Vice President-Head of Marketing will be made redundant effective December 31.”
Hardly the Christmas present Alysia was expecting.
She took up the role in 2019, succeeding Ingrid Card, and hit the ground running. An understudy to Card, she quickly learnt what had to be done and went about injecting vitality into the Sagicor brand as it sought to become an integrated financial services player and not rely totally on dominating the insurance sector.
Alysia Moulton White did a good job and is a good marketer. Her abilities and work ethic made her a formidable executive. The girl from CVM had come far and demonstrated to corporate Jamaica that it didn’t always have to import top executive talent – it resides right here at home.
So, why did Sagicor give her the elbow?
Personality issues, a need to move in a new direction, a tough year that has hampered Sagicor’s financial performance, concerns around a familial connection that could potentially embarrass the Group?
Who knows, but the chatter continues.
The statement by Sagicor could have been a little more gracious and should have placed emphasis on Alysia’s contributions.
It served to let all those in corporate Jamaica know that you can’t get too comfortable in that big job with all its perks. You are replaceable and not even an afterthought. Don’t rest on your laurels.
Sagicor went on to announce that the position of Vice President-Head of Group Marketing would be subsumed by Executive Vice President-Shared Services, Karl Williams.
Now this needs closer attention. Either Sagicor thought it wasn’t getting bang for buck and decided Karl Williams could also do Alysia’s job, or it had to make a quick move and sees this as a temporary solution.
Alysia would have fine-tuned the day-to-day operations of the marketing department and was the face of it. To annex it to Shared Services means less energy, time and money will be placed on marketing just when the competition is getting fiercer.
She was always amenable and was known for her personal touch and willingness to find an accommodation.
Despite fair value losses punishing balance sheets, NCB has awoken from its slumber. Scotia is putting in creditable performances, JMMB has repositioned, Jamaica National and Victoria Mutual have increased their marketing efforts.
Sagicor made it known that it now needs to streamline its operations to achieve greater efficiencies. In other words, there may be job cuts. That sends a chilling message to staff.
Alysia Moulton White will be feeling a little dejected and bruised. Her abilities speak for themselves and there are opportunities for her.
She has a media background and that can be most useful. Julian Rogers should be out of the Jamaica Observer any day now and he is expected to be replaced by the long serving Natalie Chin who did a fantastic job running the company’s Advertising and Marketing Department. Alysia also gets on well with the irrepressible Novia MacDonald Whyte, who has for years set new standards in lifestyle journalism.
With Natalie Chin taking on the role of managing director, a troika of talent (Natalie, Novia and Alysia) can herald a new dawn for the Jamaica Observer Media Group, with Alysia slipping into the former’s previous role.
In this pro-feminist time it will be heartening to many to see a company headed by a team led by women.
Other banking groups would have noted the work done by Alysia and should give her a call. CIBC has, it is said, taken a nonchalant approach to marketing and is happy to be where it is. If it wants to compete, and not only in Jamaica, then Alysia may be who you have to call. Mind you, she may have to move to Barbados or The Bahamas. It would be a step up for her to be a regional head.
Jamaica now has several fintech companies operating that are looking to challenge the traditional finance houses. WiPay,Lynk, Amber are just a few.
Lititia Myers-Gray has left Guardsman to form payments company ECHE, financially backed by Proven Investments. If it is looking to brand successfully and scale, then who better to champion the company than Alysia?
The People’s National Party (PNP) has a major task on its hand to unseat the Jamaica Labour Party in the next general election, which may take place in 18 months’ time. Andrew Holness is a popular prime minister and his party consistently comes out way ahead in all the polls.
Mark Golding is bright and competent, but must engage better with the electorate. That doesn’t mean he has to do a song and dance every time he is on stage, but his strengths need to be identified and played to.
The PNP has been fractious and there has been internecine infighting that has distracted the party from its focus.
This could be a challenge for Alysia and could cement her name in history if she was able to turn the PNP’s fortunes around and get it elected.
Saatchi & Saatchi did so for Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party in the ’80s. Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell saw to the victory of New Labour in 1997, with perhaps the most brand savvy political project in British history.
Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon saw Donald Trump score one of the most astounding Presidential victories of all time in 2016.
Sagicor issued the obligatory line which is supposed to make a firing more palatable. “We wish Mrs Moulton White all the best in future endeavours.”
Alysia in turn responded with a sage’s touch. “ The end of a thing is better than its beginning-ECC 7 vs 8. On to a new adventure.”
That new adventure and subsequent ones will be all blue skies for Alysia Moulton White.
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