Publicis Groupe Africa Appoints Koo Govender As First Female CEO

Koo Govender

Publicis Groupe Africa has appointed Koo Govender as its first female Chief Executive Officer. She takes over from John Dixon, who led the group for five years and has now taken up the position of Chairman.

Koo will be responsible for driving the creative, media, PR and influencer, production, commerce, as well as data and technology practices for Groupe in Africa under the 16 brands represented in the market.

She will be based in Johannesburg, reporting to Loris Nold, CEO APAC, Middle East, and Africa.

Taking to her LinkedIn to make the announcement, Koo wrote; “I’m humbled to announce that I’ve joined the Publicis Groupe Africa as their first female CEO. An exciting new chapter in my journey has begun and every step I take will be done with passion and perseverance. With such a wealth of talent across the continent, I will be focussing my efforts on harnessing the collective power of our people to deliver meaningful growth and impact for our clients.

“I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you who made my journey at Dentsu so memorable. Thank you Andre Freire de Andrade, Dawn Rowlands, my leadership team, and peers for all the support.

“It is a chapter of my career that I will always cherish. You all taught me so much, and it’s because of you that I am able to embark on this next exciting journey in my career.”

With over three decades of experience, Koo was the first female CEO of the VWV Group. She joined Publicis from her position as CEO of Dentsu South Africa where she was responsible for offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as numerous specialist divisions and scaled services.

Her career started at the Multichoice Group where she spent 22 years. She sits on selected Industry, NGO, and Business boards as well as sat on the judging panel for the Cannes Lions Festival 2017, Loeries 2017, 2019, and 2022 awards, the AdFocus 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Awards, 2022 Effie Awards as well 2020, 2021 and 2022 Promax India, Asia, Australia, and Africa Awards.

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