Tom Ilube, Nigeria named UK’s most powerful black person
Ilube was announced after an independent panel of judges led by Dame Linda Dobbs, a former high court judge, and Michael Eboda, a publisher, recommended him.
According to Powerlist, entrants were judged on their “ability to change lives and alter events, as demonstrated over a protracted period of time and in a positive manner.”
Born in Isleworth, west London, Ilube bagged his first degree from the University of Benin. He studied Physics. He later obtained an MBA at Cass Business School in London.
His journey to the top was not smooth, as he encountered obstacles that should have ordinarily made him quit. He was rejected for a graduate trainee scheme at McDonald’s “for not being good enough”. But determined, he sent applications to every company starting with the letter A and was turned down again and again, so he started working through the Bs and ended up working for British Airways as a programmer.
From there, he headed to the London Stock Exchange in the 1980s, where he was one of few black professionals. He was able to work his way to the top.
ody, lube is celebrated for his outstanding work in education. He founded Hammersmith Academy, which opened in September 2011 and has gone on to become one of the UK’s most innovative technology schools.
The 53-year-old philanthropist set up African Gifted Foundation, to help transform the lives of hundreds of children on the continent.
Earlier this year, he opened the African Science Academy (ASA), Africa’s first girls-only science and technology school, based in Ghana with young women scientists attending from Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
ASA is a fee-paying school but there are scholarships for students with financial needs. It aims to admit over 200 students a year. The academy is driving Africa’s development by inspiring and unleashing the next generation of gifted scientists and engineers.
Commenting on the institution, he said: “I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.
“Launching the African Science Academy is the highlight of all my work in education over the past decade. I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.”
Ilube, who has established several successful technology companies, has a vast experience. He served as the chief executive officer of Crossword Cybersecurity Plc and served as its chairman of the board until September 1, 2016.
He was the managing director at Callcredit Limited and Consumer Markets at Callcredit Information Group Limited. He also founded Garlik Ltd. and served as its chief executive officer. Ilube co-founded Lost Wax in 1996 and served as its chief executive officer, where he took an active role in the business development. He served as chief information officer of Egg plc. Ilube has over 25 years of commercial systems delivery experience with a range of blue chip organizations, including Goldman Sachs, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, London Stock Exchange, British Airways and Cap Gemini. He served as Overall programme manager for the initial launch of Egg financial services. He is a highly regarded board level adviser and inspirational speaker on e-commerce issues and technology trends. He currently serves as a director of Crossword Cybersecurity Plc and Callcredit Limited.
This is what he has to say on his latest recognition: “I’m incredibly proud of all of our Powerlistees this year and over the past 10 years in which we’ve published the magazine. Tom isn’t a household name, but quietly behind the scenes, he has had an incredible effect on the lives of so many people across the world.”
Not much is known of his private life.