Meet the Leadership Team

Delivering our strategy

As we deliver our strategy, it is important that the skillset and focus of the people leading our business reflect the environment we are operating in today.

The diversity, expertise and experience of our Leadership and management team is key in enabling us to continue to deliver our strategy and capitalise on the great opportunities that lie ahead. Meet our Leadership Team members that make things happen.

Meet the Leadership Team at BAT in West and Central Africa

Yarub Al-Bahrani



Yarub joined Rothmans in 1996 as a Management Trainee. His career began in TM&D with roles in Yemen and Saudi Arabia followed by numerous roles in Brands across both the Middle East and the Lucky Strike IBG. In 2009, Yarub moved to Egypt as Head of Marketing and in 2012 to Kazakhstan as Area Head of Marketing Caucasus & Central Asia. Yarub then spent a year in EEMEA Region as Marketing Deployment Manager before moving to Nigeria as West Africa Marketing Director in October 2016. He was appointed Area Director for West Africa Area (now West & Central Africa Area) in April 2019.

Yarub enjoys travelling, good food and exercise. He is married and has two sons.

Ademola Omitayo



Demola joined BAT in 2003 as a Marketing Representative and has since held various roles in Trade and SP&I across the Area. In 2013, he was appointed into the role of Head of Sales & TM&D and led the team to its first year of volume growth after a period of decline. In June 2016, Demola moved to South Africa as Senior Brand Manager for Benson & Hedges and Rothmans. He later joined the Pall Mall IBG in Globe House in December 2017. He was responsible for supporting key markets in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa in continuing to build Pall Mall and strengthen BWAP leadership. He was appointed Marketing Director, West & Central Africa Area in May 2019.

Demola enjoys music and plays drums in a band. He is married and has three children.

Simukai Munjanganja



Simukai was appointed as Area Head of Legal, West & Central Africa Area in July 2021. Prior to this he was Area Head of LEX for West & Central Africa between January 2020 and June 2021. He is a South African trained lawyer, who practiced at a leading law firm before joining British American Tobacco as Legal Counsel for Leaf Operations Zimbabwe, in 2000. This was followed by numerous other roles in Southern Africa and Head Office, including Cluster Head of Legal & Corporate Affairs – (Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia & Zimbabwe), Regulations Counsel – GR&D and Global Regulation Counsel.

Before joining the West & Central Africa Leadership Team, he spent six years in East & Central Africa, initially as Area Head of Legal then subsequently as Area Head of Legal & External Affairs from June 2015.

Simukai is an armchair sportsman, who enjoys keeping fit cycling and running.

Sergio Berlanga



Sergio joined BAT Mexico in 2007. His career began in the Reward COE with roles in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and the global Reward team in the UK. In 2012 he moved back to Mexico as Talent Manager, and then moved to the UK as AmSSA Talent Manager. In 2016 Sergio moved to Colombia and was appointed HR Director, then HR Director for SANCAR Area (Central America & Caribbean). In 2019 Sergio moved to Romania and was appointed Head of HR for Global Business Services. Sergio was then appointed HR Director for WCA in December 2021.

Sergio is trained on Industrial Engineering, Masters in Marketing and also has an Executive MBA degree from the London Business School. He has some cross functional experiences in TM&D as Area Sales Manager and Digital Transformation. He is a passionate HR professional who enjoys driving high performance, innovation, digital transformation and a great place to work.

Sergio is married with 2 children. When he is not working, he enjoys travelling, practicing tennis, surf/swim, or a good barbeque with friends and family.

Freddy Messanvi



Freddy Messanvi is the General Manager for the West and Central African Markets in WCA. He is responsible for driving the business and growth strategy for the markets in the patch namely: Ghana, Gambia, Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Cameroun, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) and Liberia.

Freddy joined BAT in 2001 as a Management Trainee in the Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Executive Department in DRC. He rose through the ranks and has held several leadership positions in Regulatory Affairs and Legal within the West African Area having worked in several markets including DRC, Senegal and Nigeria. In 2015, Freddy was appointed as the Area Head of Legal and External Affairs, a position he held until his appointment in January 2020 as the General Manager for the West and Central Africa Markets.

Freddy is a commercially driven lawyer by training and experience, he is also passionate about BAT’s continued leadership position in the Area. Freddy brings these qualities to provide business -focused solutions to drive the marketing and business strategies for the markets in his patch.

When Freddy is not working for BAT, he enjoys his daily fitness routines, discovering new places, understanding the mechanisms of machines, watching movies and is also a connoisseur of white wines.

Alberto Kauer



Alberto started his career in the Brazilian Food Industry and joined BAT in 2006 as a Management Trainee. He has since held several roles in Operations such as Leaf, Planning, Maintenance, Quality, Manufacturing, Logistics and EHS, in Brazil, Southern Cone Area and Americas & Sub Saharan Africa Region.

Alberto is an Electrical Engineer, with a background in Computer Science, with two Masters in Business Administration, in Fundacao Getulio Vargas and Fundacao Dom Cabral.

A Portuguese native speaker, Alberto loves watching football, playing tennis and mountain biking in his free time.

Nomore Mapanzure



Nomore Mapanzure holds a Bachelor of Accountancy (Honors) Degree from the University of South Africa. He is a Chartered Accountant (ICAZ and SAICA).

He joined the British American Tobacco Group in 2004 and has held several senior finance roles in various BAT markets.

Nomore is currently the Head of Finance for the BAT West and Central Africa Area.

He began his career with BAT in 2004 as Treasury Manager in BAT Zimbabwe. Since then, he has held several finance roles covering Operations, Commercial Finance and Cluster finance roles which included Head of finance for Tunisia, Libya and Sudan (an acquisition) in North Africa, Head of Finance Southern African Markets, and more recently Marketing Finance Controller for East and Southern Africa.

In these roles, he has successfully executed strategies that have enabled the markets he supported to profitably navigate volatile operating environments and mitigate negative impacts to BAT.

Nomore is married with three boys.

Odiri Erewa-Meggison



Odiri was promoted to the position of External Affairs Director for West and Central Africa Markets effective 1st July 2021, responsible for driving the external affairs and communications strategy in line with BAT Group positions within West and Central Africa Markets.

Odiri is a lawyer, holds a master’s degree with Honors in International Relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England and a Chartered Secretary. She has over 20 years working experience cutting across Oil and Gas, Telcom and Tobacco Manufacturing sectors.

She joined BAT Nigeria in July 2006, as a mid-career recruit and rose through the ranks holding various positions within the Legal department, last position held was Head of Legal for the West Africa Area. She was subsequently appointed Head of Government Affairs, West Africa Area (WAA), following the Legal and External Affairs merger.

In 2018, Odiri was seconded to the BAT Indonesia within the Asia Pacific Region, as the Head of Marketing Legal Indonesia, and subsequently as Senior Regulatory Special Projects Manager.

In December 2020, Odiri was appointed to the Americas and Sub Sahara Region, as Senior Regional External Engagement and Campaign manager.

Odiri is married with two lovely daughters. She is a runner and cyclist who is also passionate about investment, Interior designing, cooking, and baking. She also enjoys meeting people and mentoring younger ladies to climb up the corporate ladder.

Olakunle Ogedengbe



Olakunle started his career with Telecoms company Global Nigeria in 2003 before joining BAT in February 2005 as IT Support Analyst, based in Lagos Nigeria. He has held various roles within the IT Services function including Network Manager (2006), Operations IT Services Manager (2008), West Africa IT Services Manager (2011) and Regional IT Services Manager (Easter Europe, Middle East & Africa; 2013). He was subsequently appointed into the Area IT Manager (2018) and subsequently Head of IDT (Information & Digital Technology) in November 2019. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria and a master’s degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Liverpool.

Olakunle is married with two children and enjoys movies and travel.