Mark Ritson has been appointed to the board of directors for the global venture studio Lakeba Group.
Lakeba Group made headlines earlier this year when investors accused the company of inflating revenue forecasts and artificially boosting its portfolio value to secure funding.
The Australian Financial Review reported on documents submitted to the Supreme Court in NSW that showed Ben Hudghton, Anthony Halfhide, Suzanne and John Borzi alleged Lakeba convinced them to invest nearly $800,000 in total using documents that misstated the fund’s real financial position.
Ritson has a Ph.D in Marketing and is recognised globally for his MBA teaching at business schools, including MIT Sloan, London Business School and Melbourne Business School. He has worked as a global consultant on marketing and branding issues for a wide range of clients, with significant stints working for the likes of McKinsey, Westpac, Sephora, Ericsson and Flight Centre.
For more than a decade, he has worked as an in-house brand consultant for global luxury goods giant LVMH, working with the senior teams at brands like Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer, DFS, Dom Perignon, and Hennessy.
In 2016, Ritson founded the Marketing Week Mini MBA program – an online version of his acclaimed business school classes. The program has become one of the most successful specialist online training platforms in the world, equipping more than 30,000 alumni across more than 50 different countries.
Giuseppe Porcelli, chairman and group CEO of Lakeba, said, “Mark is a world-leading expert in the art and science of marketing. As a board member, he will assist Lakeba in achieving stratospheric growth across our 15 brands and in numerous markets worldwide.”
“What excites me about Mark is not just his mastery of data-driven decision making in growing brands or even his track record of enhancing some of the world’s top brands when others thought further growth was impossible. What truly stands out is his virtuoso ability to nurture business relationships.”
“Mark’s vast network in the business world paves the way for valuable partnerships and collaborations. These relationships and Mark’s mentorship of Lakeba’s emerging leaders promise unprecedented avenues for our company’s continued success.”
Ritson: “As a card-carrying cynic when it comes to Artificial Intelligence and a lot of the nonsense we hear from tech firms, this move is probably a surprise to many. But I have known Giuseppe for several years and our constant chats and occasional coffees have changed the way I think about these topics.”
“I still think AI will be an enormous distraction for many and a fruitless endeavour for a lot of companies. But in the case of Lakeba, I can see how their tech is a real game changer. But I also see the danger of great products let down by inferior distribution and marketing. I can see a clear role and a chance to help in a significant way. I am excited about working at Lakeba.”
Top image: Mark Ritson
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