NCC hires Guardian executive Akinwale in strategy role

Diji Akinwale

NCC Group, the Manchester-based global cyber security firm, announced the appointment of The Guardian executive Diji Akinwale to the new role of Director of Strategy and Transformation with immediate effect.

On March 31, NCC warned in a trading update that “market volatility has materially increased and is having a significant impact on our near-term cyber security revenue and profitability.”

NCC shares are down about 45% for the past 12 months and the firm has a current stock market value of about £323 million.

“This new role has been created as the group looks to implement and execute the updated strategy announced on 2 February, and Diji will report directly to chief executive Mike Maddison,” said NCC.

“Diji joins the group from The Guardian where he served as Group Strategy Director.

“In this role, Diji successfully supported the media group’s international growth whilst increasing recurring revenue and accelerating the development of its digital offering and capabilities.

“In his time at The Guardian, Diji was responsible for developing and delivering a plan to generate positive cashflow – a key objective and a milestone The Guardian achieved for the first time in many years in Diji’s final full year at the group.

“Before The Guardian, Diji spent several years at McKinsey where he led digital strategy and transformation projects for clients across sectors including technology, financial services and the public sector.

“Mike Maddison commenced his role as chief executive of NCC Group on 7 July 2022, and on 2 February 2023 the group announced the next chapter its strategy which will deliver revenue from a broader service portfolio, addressing the full cyber security lifecycle, with deeper presence across sectors.

“This will be supported by the activation of a global delivery model, including an offshore delivery and operations centre, and investment in the go-to-market model and brand for Cyber.

“Core to Diji’s responsibilities will be establishing a transformation management office resourced to deliver this next chapter of the strategy at pace.”

Maddison said: “Diji’s experience successfully developing and delivering enterprise-level transformation projects for some of the world’s most important organisations supports my confidence that he will be a great asset to our group.

“Diji has a grounding in client services and his sector experience means he understands both how we and our clients operate.

“I look forward to working closely with him as we pursue our strategy to create a more resilient business positioned to capitalise fully on opportunities to meet changing client needs in a dynamic Cyber market.”

Akinwale said: “This a fantastic opportunity to lend my experience and transformation expertise to a global business at the cutting edge of an exciting, fast-moving industry and at a critical moment in the group’s journey.

“Underpinned by a focus on insights, intelligence and innovation, NCC Group’s proposition and strategy mean it is well placed to deliver on its purpose of creating a more secure digital future, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to contribute to this.”