Orlando Lyomu is the current Chief Executive Officer of Standard Media Group.
Standard Media Group is one of the leading media houses in Kenya with its flagship station being Kenya Television Network (KTN). At some point, KTN was the most watched station in the country thanks to interactive shows, unbiased news items and quality programs. Of course, the station still strives to give its audience quality programs but the competition today is much higher.
Orlando Lyomu is the current Chief Executive Officer of Standard Media Group. He was appointed CEO following the resignation of former CEO Sam Shollei, and at a time when the media company had suffered major losses. It had recorded a loss after tax of Ksh210.8 million in 2017 which was a major beating from 2016 where they had recorded a net profit of 198.5 million. Not only was Lyomu going to deal with the losses and look for a way to make profits but he was also dealing with a split in the media house. This is because a tag of war was going on between the major shareholder Gideon Moi and Joshua Kulei. Nonetheless, he seems to have done a good job, as he still holds the position to date.
Lyomu studied at the University of Nairobi for his undergraduate and an MBA from Strathmore Business School. He is also a member of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya.
People often pass through some difficult times before finding their place in the society. Lyomu’s first job was as a bookkeeper in a friend’s shop after his job search had hit a dead end. The salary at the time was only Ksh5,000 and instead of complaining he diligently did his work hoping the experience would help him in his future endeavors.
Determined to move up the career ladder, he looked for employment in Kenya’s petroleum sector and, wasn’t he lucky? He got employed by Total Kenya PLC as the Chief accountant, a position he held for close to ten years. This position empowered him, educated him, allowed him to gain so much experience and gave him a taste of how the corporate world operates.
In 2009, he got the opportunity to join Gulf Energy Ltd as chief financial officer.
Upon leaving Gulf, he joined the media industry, working for the standard Media Group as an Accounting Officer.
So, how does an accountant become the Chief Executive Officer?
Lyomu had never imagined he would become CEO, especially in the media industry. Therefore, him being appointed CEO was something major, especially since some of the contenders for the position were very skillful, experienced and gurus in the corporate world.
“I was not ready for The Standard CEO job. 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 said.
He began learning everything about running a media company and has been at the helm of leadership in the media house from 2018 to date.