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Patricia Ithau: 4 Things We Know About New WPP Scangroup CEO

Ms Patricia Ithau, the new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at WPP Scangroup Plc

The Board of Directors of WPP Scangroup Plc has announced the appointment of Ms Patricia Ithau as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, effective Monday, March 14, 2022.

Patricia boasts more than 25 years of experience in senior leadership roles at several Eastern African companies including Unilever, Diageo/East African Breweries Ltd and L’Oréal.

She holds a number of board positions at organisations such as ABSA Bank Kenya PLC, TradeMark East Africa Ltd, Jambojet Ltd, and the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

She is also is a Trustee on the boards of Vodafone Foundation UK and M-Pesa Foundation and was previously on the board of her new employer, WPP Scangroup PLC, as non-executive director between the years 2017 to 2020.

Patricia is currently the Regional Director at the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Development Economies – Seed, a Stanford Graduate School of Business initiative that aims to build a network of globally-engaged leaders from Silicon Valley to sub-Saharan Africa and tackle global poverty by supporting the scale-up of small and medium-sized businesses in developing economies.

In 2020, Patricia was awarded a Head of State Commendation (HSC) – Civilian Division, for her work in supporting enterprise development in the country. She holds an MBA in Strategic Management from the United States International University – Africa, and a B Com from the University of Nairobi.

She also completed an Advanced Management Program at Strathmore Business School/IESE Business School, Barcelona, a General Management Program at INSEAD – CEDEP, and a Certificate Program in Scenario Planning at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

Bharat Thakrar, sexual harassment and embezzlement of company funds

Founder and former CEO OF WPP Scangroup Bharat Thakrar

The leadership change at WWP Scangroup comes exactly one year after the resignation of Bharat Thakrar as CEO and board member in March 2021.

The company had earlier suspended Thakrar and his Chief Finance Officer Satyabrata Das on February 19, 2021, on allegations of gross misconduct,

At the time, the board of directors announced that they had begun internal investigations into the scathing accusations against the two officials.

Mr Thakrar who founded the firm in 1982, is said to have developed a habit of luring female employees with treats through expensive business trips where he would often force them into sleep with him and later buy off their silence.

However, some were not comfortable with the arrangement and opted to speak out despite the great fear of losing their jobs.

The investigations also revealed that Thakrar has also created numerous dummy PR agencies that he uses to steal funds from WPP ScanGroup by fake invoicing for non-existent works.

WPP Scangroup, which is a subsidiary of  British multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company, WPP, is recorded as the largest marketing and communication group in Sub-Saharan Africa and houses several ad agencies.