During their 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM), WPP-Scangroup PLC shareholders have passed resolutions that will strengthen the composition of the board and welcomed the appointment of a new Chief Executive officer – Ms Patricia Ithau. Shareholders of NSE’s only listed marketing and communications company resolved to strengthen the independent non-executive board representation with the ratification of the appointment of three new directors. In addition, the board ratified three additional non-executive directors with pan-African marketing and communication experience. According to the shareholders, the appointments will not only improve the independence of the board, but also present a more diverse face of the WPP Scangroup board of directors.
The three independent board members are: Ms Patricia Kiwanuka, Ms Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo and Mr Peter M. Kimurwa. The additional non-executive directors are Ms Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo, Ms Tebogo Skwambane and Mr Federico de Nardis. During the AGM, Scangroup’s board chair Mr. Richard Omwela introduced to the shareholders, the group’s new CEO and expressed optimism that her credentials and hands-on experience in marketing, communication and governance roles fit hand-in-glove with the organisation’s ambition.
Mr. Omwela said: “I am happy to announce that we recruited a new CEO, Ms Patricia Ithau, who commenced her job in March of this year. Patricia is a seasoned executive with vast experience in business leadership, marketing and enterprise development, developed over a three-decade career in multi-national organisations and more recently with an impact initiative from the global lead in business education, the Stanford Graduate Business School.” He added: “Patricia’s credentials make her suitably placed at the helm, as we remodel and focus on stronger capability building, growing a broader geographical footprint and driving a more collaborative culture across the WPP network.”
The new CEO outlined her vision for the future of the company as the marketing and communication industry recovers from reduced spends attributable to the economic recession occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Ithau said: “To achieve the envisaged business growth and enhance shareholder value, we will focus on three strategic priorities. We are scaling up our technology driven capabilities to ensure a stronger intersection of content and data in all our creative outputs. In addition, to reduce reliance on the Kenyan market, we will enhance our regional footprint by focusing resources to capture the opportunity pools in the African countries we operate in.”
She added: “We cannot do this without putting in place a winning culture that is fit for purpose in this post pandemic world. This will include more emphasis on a more regionally collaborative mindset, so as to connect complementary strengths that help us serve our clients better.”
As a testament of the group’s re-modelling and growth trajectory, the new CEO announced that in the next six months the group will operationalise an affiliate partnership that will scale up its network footprint by over thirty markets in Africa, launch a proprietary online survey measuring media consumption behaviour in multiple sub-Saharan markets and make a foray into the global trend of infusing big data, creative technology with strategic channel and audience planning tools through a merger of two of WPP’s agencies.