Absa beefs up transformation with appointment of three executives
CEO Arrie Rautenbach welcomed the appointments as strengthening the leadership team and adding skill, experience and diversity
Absa Bank has further beefed up its transformation scorecard by appointing two more black executives within its executive ranks.
Jeanett Modise has been named new group chief people officer and Sydney Mbhele the new chief brand, marketing and corporate affairs officer.
Scottish-born Johnson Idesoh was named new group chief information and technology officer, completing the trio of appointments which will be effective from January.
All three will be members of the Absa executive committee, reporting directly to CEO Arrie Rautenbach, Absa said in a statement on Thursday.
“The appointments build on the positive momentum that was achieved through executive committee changes and an operating model refinement earlier this year,” Rautenbach said.
“The appointments strengthen our leadership team, adding to the bench of skill, experience and diversity appropriate to and supportive of our ambition to be a leading pan-African bank.”
Absa was criticised earlier this year for choosing Rautenbach as its new boss after Daniel Mminele quit over apparent differences with the board over strategy. Mminele was the first black CEO in Absa’s history.
The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which oversees R2.54-trillion on behalf of state employees, was particularly vocal at the time, labelling Rautenbach’s appointment as a missed opportunity at transformation.
However, Absa has committed itself to transform its executive committee makeup to reflect SA’s demographics.
Modise is presently group human resources director at Sanlam, a position she has held since July 2019. She joined the Sanlam Group in 2014 as executive head of human resources and transformation at subsidiary Santam before becoming chief HR officer for Sanlam Investments Group.
Idesoh has 25 years of experience in leading digitalisation in regulated industries and a track record in delivering and embedding digital strategies that improve customer experience and increase digital customer numbers.
Mbele has a 25-year career in the brand-building and marketing sector, working at blue-chip companies. He was nominated as 2022 marketer of the year in SA and was rated as a top-five chief marketing officer in Africa and the Middle East in 2021.
The latest appointments are part of a new operating model that Rautenbach unveiled in June.
Absa now operates under five business clusters: CIB Pan Africa, relationship banking, everyday banking, product solutions, and retail and business banking (Absa regional operations), which covers the retail banking business in the rest of Africa.
In the past, Absa operated under two main commercial business units, namely retail and business banking, and corporate and investment banking (CIB).
In July, Absa named Dawn Mthombeni as an executive within the office of Rautenbach.
Mthombeni, who began her new job in August, provides Rautenbach with operational support and strategic advice to ensure the mandates, priorities and agenda of the CEO’s office are delivered efficiently.
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