WPP Scangroup appoints Patricia Ithau a year after Bharat Thakrar exit

Patricia Ithau has been appointed WPP Scangroup CEO/Executive Director effective March 14, 2022. [Courtesy]

Patricia Ithau has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of WPP Scangroup.

Scangroup Chairman Richard Omwela, in a statement seen by The Standard, said Ithau will begin her term on March 14, 2022.

“She oversaw the expansion of major consumer brands in Eastern Africa at companies including Unilever, Diageo, and LOreal,” reads the statement.

Ithau is currently the Regional Director at the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Development Economies, Seed. She also sits on several boards that include ABSA Bank Kenya, Jambojet Limited, and the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a trustee on M-Pesa Foundation and Vodafone Foundation UK boards.

In 2020, she was awarded the Head of State Commendation for her philanthropic work in supporting enterprise development in Kenya. She holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management from the United States International University- Africa (USIU) and a BCom from the University of Nairobi. 

Resignation of Bharat Thakrar and his CFO

The leadership change at WWP Scangroup comes exactly one year after the resignation of Bharat Thakrar as CEO and board member in March 2021. WPP had earlier suspended Thakrar and his Chief Finance Officer Satyabrata Das on February 19, 2021, for unspecified reasons. 

In September 2021, WPP Scangroup closed an investigation that did not find any incriminating evidence against Thakrar. "The investigation did not identify items of a material nature that required adjustment to the results of the company or the group for the year ended December 31, 2020, or to the balance sheet at that date," WPP said in a statement.

WPP Scangroup is a subsidiary of WPP, listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange. It is the largest marketing and communication group in Sub-Saharan Africa and houses several ad agencies.