From Ksh5K Salary to Standard CEO: Orlando Lyomu's Story

  • Group CEO and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC, Orlando Lyomu
    Group CEO and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC, Orlando Lyomu
    File
  • Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC, Orlando Lyomu, opened up on his remarkable journey from earning Ksh5,000 salary in his first job to reaching grand status in the corporate industry.

    Speaking to Radio Maisha on Wednesday, January 27, Lyomu pointed out that all the glamour and fame that comes with a CEO title could mislead people that his whole life has always been luxurious.

    Contrary to the case, the CEO's journey to the top was not a bed of roses.

    Group CEO and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC, Orlando Lyomu
    Group CEO and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC, Orlando Lyomu
    File

    Lyomu landed his first job at a friend's business where he worked as a bookkeeper. This came after months of job-hunting to no avail. He would earn a Ksh5,000 monthly salary. He noted that the amount did not deter him as he was focused on utilizing the opportunity to gain maximum experience.

    He stated that the job served as a launching pad to where he is currently. 

    In search of greener pastures, Lyomu highlighted that he sought opportunities in the petroleum sector. He was hired by Total Kenya PLC as the chief accountant, a position which gave him first-hand experience in the corporate world, as he stayed with the company for more than a decade.

    He would then join Gulf Energy Ltd in 2009 as the Chief Financial Officer before ultimately jumping ship to Standard Group PLC as an Accounting Officer.

    According to Lyomu, the concept of becoming a CEO never crossed his mind as he was mainly motivated to exceed expectations in his accounting position.

    "I was not ready for the Standard CEO job position. I remember receiving a call from the board on my birthday. The chairman of the board asked whether I would accept the role, and I said yes without hesitation. Afterwards, I began thinking about the decision," he narrated.

    Coming from an extensive background in the economic sector, Lyomu spoke about the struggles of switching to the media industry. He admitted he had to spend the first months in the company learning all about the industry.

    His appointment into the role in May 2018, came at a time when the company had recorded a financial loss in the previous year. 

    The board announced that Lyomu was the official CEO after serving in an acting capacity for nine months. He replaced Sam Shollei who had resigned in September 2017. 

    File image of Standard Group Plc's Mombasa Road Headquarters in Nairobi
    File image of Standard Group Plc's Mombasa Road Headquarters in Nairobi
    The Standard