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Airtel Africa Signals Leadership Transition: CEO Olusegun Ogunsanya to Retire, Sunil Taldar to Assume Role

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Airtel Africa Plc - Investors King

Airtel Africa plc, a telecommunications and mobile money services giant operating across 14 African countries, announced today a significant leadership transition.

The company disclosed the retirement of Chief Executive Officer Olusegun “Segun” Ogunsanya and the appointment of Sunil Taldar, who joined Airtel Africa in October 2023 as Director – Transformation, as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The strategic move comes after a successful tenure under Ogunsanya’s leadership, marked by double-digit revenue growth and the introduction of innovative products across the African market.

As of 1 July 2024, Sunil Taldar will officially assume the role of CEO, succeeding Ogunsanya, who will retire from both the Board and the Company.

In his current role as Director – Transformation, Mr. Taldar has been instrumental in spearheading key strategic initiatives aimed at reshaping Airtel Africa’s business and operations.

With over 30 years of business management experience in the FMCG and Telecommunications sectors, including significant contributions to Bharti Airtel, Cadbury China, and Mondelez India and Indonesia, Mr. Taldar brings a wealth of expertise to his new role.

Building on the foundation laid during Ogunsanya’s tenure, the company aims to continue its growth trajectory and innovation efforts.

Notably, the launch of the Company’s first Sustainability Strategy under Ogunsanya’s leadership has set the stage for Sunil Taldar to further steer Airtel Africa toward its sustainability and charitable initiatives.

Post-retirement, Ogunsanya will transition into the role of the Airtel Africa Charitable Foundation’s inaugural Chair.

The independent Charitable Foundation will focus on promoting digital inclusion, financial inclusion, access to education, and environmental protection across Africa.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Airtel Africa plc, expressed gratitude for Ogunsanya’s contributions, stating, “Under Segun’s leadership, Airtel Africa has maintained double-digit revenue growth and continued to deliver new, industry-leading products to our customers across Africa.”

He further commended Ogunsanya for taking on the role of Chair for the Airtel Africa Charitable Foundation, emphasizing his visionary leadership in advancing development and prosperity across the continent.

Speaking on the appointment of Sunil Taldar, Mittal said, “The Board is delighted to appoint Sunil Taldar as the Group’s next Chief Executive Officer. His industry experience, strategic vision, constant customer focus, and proven record of delivery will enable him to deliver our strategic objectives and lead the Group in the next stages of its development.”

Ogunsanya, reflecting on his over 12 years at Airtel Africa, expressed pride in the company’s achievements and highlighted the continued transformation of lives across the continent.

He stated, “Now is the right time to hand over to a new leader who can build on Airtel Africa’s strengths and deliver on the significant opportunities ahead as I pursue my renewed interest in the empowerment of Africans through digital and financial inclusion in a different capacity.”

As Sunil Taldar steps into the CEO role, the leadership transition is expected to be seamless, leveraging the ongoing effectiveness of Ogunsanya’s leadership during the transition period.

With Taldar’s industry acumen and Ogunsanya’s continued advisory role post-retirement, Airtel Africa looks set for a promising future under new leadership.

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Appointments

Dame (DR.) Adaora Umeoji Named Zenith Bank GMD/CEO

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Zenith Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, OON, as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive with effect from June 1, 2024, subject to approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

She takes over from Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, whose five-year term expires on May 31, 2024, after a very successful tenure.

Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji is the first female GMD/CEO since the inception of the bank, and her appointment is consistent with the bank’s executive transition tradition, succession plan, and strategy of grooming leaders from within.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Umeoji has been the Deputy Managing Director of the bank since October 28, 2016 and has close to thirty (30) years cognate banking experience of which twenty-six (26) years has been with Zenith Bank.

She is an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where she attended the Advanced Management Program (AMP) and an alumnus of Columbia Business School with a Certificate in the Global Banking Program.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Jos, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a First-Class honors in Law from Baze University, Abuja.

She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calabar, and also has a doctorate in business administration from Apollos University, USA.

She holds a Certificate in Economics for Business from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, USA, and has attended various management programmes in renowned Universities around the world including the strategic thinking and Management programme at Wharton Business School, USA.

She also attended the executive program in Strategic Management, and has a Certificate in Leading Global Business all from Harvard Business School, USA.

She is a fellow of notable professional bodies including the Chartered Banker Institute, UK, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Credit Administration, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria among others.

In 2022, the Federal Government of Nigeria honored Dr. Umeoji with Officer of the Order of the Niger, as a recognition of her contributions to nation building. She is a Peace Advocate of the United Nations (UN-POLAC).

She has impacted many lives through her philanthropic and humanitarian activities through her NGOs; Pink Breathe Cancer Foundation and the Adorable Foundation that educates, caters for Cancer patients and indigent children education especially the Girl-Child.

Her contribution to humanity was recognized by the Sun Newspaper which recently bestowed on her the Humanitarian Service Icon Award for 2023.

As a result of her passion for promoting professionalism in the banking industry and improving the well-being of the less privileged, Dr. Adaora Umeoji, OON founded the Catholic Bankers Association of Nigeria (CBAN), a platform she uses to promote ethical banking and service to humanity.

She is a Lady of the Order of Knights of St. John International (KSJI), and was awarded a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester by His Holiness Pope Francis.

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Heirs Technology Appoints Obong Idiong as Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

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Heirs Technology, the latest subsidiary of investment powerhouse Heirs Holdings, has announced the appointment of Obong Idiong as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

This move marks a significant step in the company’s mission to spearhead Africa’s digital transformation through innovative and locally tailored solutions.

Idiong, who previously served as the Managing Director/CEO at Africa Prudential Plc, brings a wealth of experience and a visionary approach to his new role.

During his tenure at Africa Prudential Plc, he led the digital transformation of its registrar services, positioning the company as a technology-driven organization.

His track record of success and expertise in the technology sector make him well-suited to lead Heirs Technology into a new era of growth and innovation.

In his statement following the appointment, Idiong expressed pride in bringing Heirs Holdings’ core values and business approach to the tech sector.

He highlighted the company’s commitment to excellence, execution, and enterprise, aiming to bridge the gap in the technology ecosystem by delivering local relevance to a global market and offering cutting-edge solutions to enhance competitiveness.

Also, Dr. Fumbi Chima has been appointed as the Chair of Heirs Technology. With her extensive experience in technology leadership roles across global organizations, including Adidas, Fox Network Group, and Walmart, Chima brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to her new role.

She expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to unlock Africa’s potential through Heirs Technology, confident that the company will make a meaningful impact on the continent’s digital landscape.

Heirs Technology’s strategic appointments underscore its commitment to driving Africa’s digital agenda forward and positioning the continent as a leader in technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Appointments

Access Holdings Welcomes Back Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as Chairman After 10 Years

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Access Holdings PLC, a prominent Nigerian financial institution, has announced the return of Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CFR, as its Non-Executive Chairman after a decade-long hiatus from the organization’s leadership.

Aig-Imoukhuede, a distinguished figure in the Nigerian banking sector, previously served as the pioneering Group Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank.

The decision to reinstate Aig-Imoukhuede as Chairman follows the untimely passing of the former Group CEO, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR.

With the passing of Dr. Wigwe, Access Holdings sought to fill the void in its leadership by inviting Aig-Imoukhuede back to steer the organization forward.

Aig-Imoukhuede brings with him a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success from his previous tenure at Access Bank.

During his leadership at Access Bank from 2002 to 2013, the institution underwent significant growth and transformation, emerging as one of Nigeria’s top five banks with a presence in multiple African countries and the United Kingdom.

In his new role as Non-Executive Chairman, Aig-Imoukhuede will collaborate closely with the Board of Directors to oversee the strategic direction of Access Holdings.

His return signifies the Board’s commitment to building upon the foundation laid by him and Dr. Wigwe, with a focus on driving sustained growth and value creation for stakeholders.

Expressing his excitement about Aig-Imoukhuede’s return, Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, the former Chairman of Access Holdings, highlighted the significance of the appointment for the organization’s future.

Aig-Imoukhuede himself expressed his enthusiasm for rejoining the Access Group ecosystem, affirming his dedication to realizing the shared vision for the institution’s success.

The return of Aig-Imoukhuede to Access Holdings heralds a new chapter for the organization, characterized by his expertise, passion, and commitment to excellence.

Under his leadership, Access Holdings is poised to embark on a journey of impactful growth and sustainable success.

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