Muthoni Laibuta: The C-suite in a foreign land


Muthoni Laibuta, Haleon’s Business Unit Director for Oral Care. PHOTO | POOL

A great deal of the smiles and general oral care for millions of Southeast Asians and Taiwanese particularly lies in the hands of Muthoni Laibuta. A wild allegation at first glance but not too far removed, seeing as Haleon’s Business Unit Director for Oral Care, Muthoni is responsible for the profit and loss and portfolio that contributes significantly to the company’s revenue. 

Many years ago, as a young woman with a small girl, she packed her life and took a job with Unilever in Vietnam. It was new and bewildering and mostly sobering. Every turn had a lesson; not all of them were great. Over the past 14 years, Southeast Asia has been home, and there, she has built a formidable career as a marketer and strategist, an executive coach, and a speaker working with the C-suite and Founders, a management consultancy. 

She is Haleon’s youngest regional business unit director in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. “I’m also the only black executive in Helion’s Asia Pacific block. And I made it to director when I was 29,” she says. “This wouldn’t have happened without the help of strong female influences in my life.”

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