Naidoo brings exceptional experience in human resources to the rapidly growing multiple award-winning creative agency. She has run her own successful consultancy in addition to extensive experience at blue-chip companies such as British American Tobacco.
“We’re delighted to have someone of Karen’s calibre join us to head Talent for our Group of companies,” says Regional Co-Founder and Chief Executive Mike Abel.
“Our companies and agencies have a massive ongoing commitment to attract, grow and nurture talent. To have someone of Karen’s experience and passion amplifies our commitment. M&C Saatchi Abel has been a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor for a number of years and today our staff complement is over 60% black South African and more than 60% female.
“The M&C Saatchi Group staff count exceeds 250 people, and so the Talent portfolio is of huge strategic importance. It’s for this reason that Karen has been brought in as a heavyweight Partner in the business,” says Abel, who adds: “I have had one quote on my wall my whole career, which reads: ‘The People with the Best People Win’. That’s Karen’s brief in a sentence - to attract and retain the best possible talent in the country.”
Abel says that M&C Saatchi Abel embraces diversity of thought. “If two people in the room agree on everything, you only need one of them. That is why we look for people with low ego who like to question and challenge until they discover the right questions before they even look for the best answer. It calls for brave and bright team members.”
“I’m really excited about joining the M&C Saatchi Group. Working for a diversified communications Group will be a career first for me. I admire the M&C Saatchi Group’s growth and achievements. To work with such exceptionally talented and creative people will without doubt be a privilege,” says Karen.
“The fact that the group is truly transformed and comprises the rich and diverse talent that makes our country special, holds huge appeal for a Talent professional. From my first meeting with Mike and his leadership team, there was complete alignment on values and philosophy.”