Marketing News South Africa

Koo Govender: PGA's first female CEO

As announced in September last year, Koo Govender has taken up the position of CEO at Publicis Groupe Africa (PGA) - the first female CEO at PGA.
Image supplied. Koo Govender is the first female CEO at Publicis Groupe Africa
Image supplied. Koo Govender is the first female CEO at Publicis Groupe Africa

Formally CEO of Dentsu South Africa, she was also first female CEO of the VWV Group.

She takes over from John Dixon, who led the group for five years and has now taken up the position of chairman.

Africa the next frontier

Govender lives by the philosophy “success is one aspect, and significance is of the utmost importance”. She believes Africa is the next frontier of marketing innovation where success can quickly turn into significance given the right cohesive conditions.

“I am grateful, excited, and of course, inspired to begin this journey at Publicis. It’s time Africa took centre stage in the world of communications. I’m here to prove to the world that it’s our time to shine,” says Govender.

The power of people

As a stalwart of the industry, Govender will be leading the drive to empower Publicis to win in a platform world, responsible for driving the creative, media, PR and influencer, production, commerce as well as data and technology practices for the Groupe in Africa under the 16 brands represented in the market.

While generating impact for clients remains a key responsibility, Govender is adamant that her position is rooted in one key driver.

“Our greatest asset will always be the power of people. I am extremely fortunate to be in a position where I can help harness a collective potential that is unmatched in Africa and across the world. I will always put people first, and then the impact will surely follow. Without people there is no growth,” says Govender.

A significant step for women in the industry

Businesswoman, media mogul, philanthropist, and shareholder of PGA, Basetsana Kumalo is encouraged by the appointment of Koo Govender as PGA’s new CEO.

“I see this as a significant step forward for not only transformation but for women in this industry. I could not think of a more impressive candidate on this continent to lead this business and the industry forward. This is a huge leap forward for African marketing as a movement of change and progress,” says Basetsana.

Moving the needle forward in the communications industry has always pushed Govender to mould marketing into a space where women can thrive.

“I am empowered, and I know that my position allows me to do the same for so many women looking for a break in this male-dominated industry. This can only come from the top down where actions speak louder than words,” says Govender.

Let's do Biz