Publicis Groupe appoints new CEO for its African business operations

By our News Team | 2022

Koo Govender’s “priority will be to drive impact for the agency’s clients by helping them win in a platform world”, company says.

Publicis Groupe Africa, part of the French-based multinational advertising and public relations company, has announced the appointment of Koo Govender as its new Chief Executive Officer.

She assumes her role on 1 February 2023, taking over from John Dixon who will stay on in the capacity of Chairperson once Govender takes up the CEO reins.

Executive Appointments

Photo by Ömer Tosun from Pexels

Publicis claims to be the fastest-growing network of communication agencies on the continent, with more than 60 agencies in over 30 African countries.

Govender’s priority will be to drive impact for the agency’s clients by helping them win in a platform world. She will be based in Johannesburg, reporting to Loris Nold, CEO for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with Govender joining us,” said Nold in a media statement. “I have known her for more than a decade and she is truly an exceptional leader and a great person. 

Exactly the progressive leader we need

“I have been lucky to be involved in Africa for more than 15 years and I am convinced that Govender is exactly the progressive leader we need to take on such a strategically critical region for our clients and our talents.”

Nold adds: “Govender brings a passion for Africa and its talents, as well as proven product expertise across creativity, performance, e-commerce, data, content and technology. She adds true leadership and a great understanding of what clients want and need.” 

She explains that, in the past few years, the group has accelerated the development of its footprint, scale, capabilities and talents across Africa.

Govender will be responsible for all the operations of Publicis Groupe in South Africa and across the continent – including creative, media, PR and influencer, production, commerce, data and technology.

“I am really excited to join the Publicis Groupe and continue to build the accomplishments of the team,” says Govender.

“Together with the leadership and management team, my vision is to empower and grow our people and deliver an employee-first experience, strengthen our capabilities and provide exceptional service and solutions to clients.”

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.