Polycarp Igathe isn’t your everyday executive. Nearly everyone who employs him seemingly wants him back every time he leaves a company. Igathe in a 2015 interview claimed to have been promoted every six months in every role he had been in.
He has also received glowing endorsements from the likes of Equity Group CEO Dr. James Mwangi who, so far, has hired him twice.
His latest appointment as Chief Growth Officer – Rest of Africa by South African manufacturing conglomerate Tiger Brands, effective December 1st 2022, is the third time he has returned to one of his former employers in a similar or more senior position. Igathe spent ten years as Managing Director of Haco Industries, the manufacturer founded by the late tycoon Chris Kirubi. Tiger Brands in 2008 acquired a 51% controlling stake in Haco Industries.
As he returns to the company, CEO Nolan Doyle voiced confidence in his ability to drive growth for the business across the region.
On the campaign trail in his failed bid for Nairobi Governor in the 2022 General Elections, Igathe regularly harked back to his time at Haco and Tiger Brands EA – describing himself as a salesman at heart, accustomed to selling the most ordinary yet important homecare and personal care products.
In 2020, Igathe returned to Equity Group Holdings for a second stint as Chief Commercial Officer.
He first joined Kenya’s biggest bank in early 2018 as Chief Commercial Officer and was promoted to Managing Director of Equity Bank Kenya five months later, with Group CEO James Mwangi heaping praise on him.
“Polycarp’s strong values and passion have enabled him to quickly fit well in the Equity Group organizational culture. He has distinguished himself as a results oriented and committed business leader who is renowned for fostering productive partnerships with external stakeholders and customers, resulting in delivery of outstanding company results. He has taken over a very successful subsidiary and market leader. We believe he has the skills, competence, capability and vision to retain Equity Bank Kenya in its leadership position while taking it to the next level,” Mwangi noted in 2018 as he announced the promotion.
Igathe in 2019 joined Vivo Energy as VP, Sales and Marketing, in charge of promoting the company’s products across the region. He joined Vivo from Equity Bank.
It was his second stint at Vivo, having previously served as Managing Director of Vivo Energy Kenya. He resigned to get into politics, and was on a winning ticket in 2017 as running mate to former Governor Mike Sonko. Igathe, however, resigned as Deputy Governor citing his failure to earn Sonko’s trust.