Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)-listed marketing firm WPP Scangroup PLC has appointed Patricia Ithau as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director. Her appointment takes effect on Monday, March 14.
Ithau is currently the Regional Director at the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Development Economies – Seed, a Stanford Graduate School of Business program aiming to build a global network of leaders and find solutions to global poverty by supporting MSMEs.
The firm has been searching for a new Chief Executive since the March 2021 exit of Bharat Thakrar, who founded the company and remains its largest individual shareholder.
Thakrar resigned from his positions as CEO and board member over allegations of gross misconduct alongside CFO Satyabarata Das. He denied any wrongdoing and was eventually cleared in a probe by the firm.
Ithau is a seasoned executive with over 25 years’ experience spearheading the expansion of top consumer brands in the region. They include Unilever, Diageo/ East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and L’Oreal.
Notably, she was previously on the board of WPP Scangroup between 2017 and 2020.
Ithau also sits on the boards of Absa Bank Kenya Plc, Trademark East Africa Ltd and the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She also is a trustee on the boards of Vodafone Foundation UK and M-Pesa Foundation.
She is the holder of an MBA in Strategic Management from the United States International University – Africa (USIU) and a B Com from the University of Nairobi.
In 2020, Ithau was awarded a Head of State Commendation (HSC) for her contribution to enterprise development in Kenya.
She will be responsible for leading Scangroup and winning back shareholder trust as the firm looks to shake off the management troubles and allegations associated with its immediate former management.