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Zenith Bank may choose Ovia’s successor from EDs

Ovia is due to retire in July this year in accordance with the new policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria. It is, however, speculated…

Ovia is due to retire in July this year in accordance with the new policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It is, however, speculated that a Deputy Managing Director in the bank, Godwin Emefiele, may be favoured to step into Ovia’s shoes.

A reliable source in the bank told Sunday Trust that the executive directors have been working closely with the CEO for many years, adding that they were largely responsible for the remarkable success of the outgoing Chief Executive Officer.

It was also gathered that the Board and Executive Committee of Zenith Bank Plc have always had a clear succession plan in place for the CEO, saying that the bank had anticipated the current CBN policy.

The source said “the CBN Directive stipulating that a CEO can no longer serve more than 10 years will no doubt present exciting opportunities for one of the six highly qualified executive directors to succeed Jim Ovia who will retire in July 2010.”

He said the Bank has grown to be the second largest bank in Nigeria by market cap (N360 billion) driven by the combined efforts of the six Executive Directors that make up the Executive Committee.

According to the source, “the collaborative approach adopted by the executive committee towards decision making has created one of Nigeria’s strongest management teams, with an average of 18 years experience working together at Zenith.”

The source said the Executive Directors were all pioneer staff that propelled the bank to its current market leading position, adding that Ovia’s successor would have a smooth transition into his new role given the long history of successful partnership at both Executive Committee and Board level.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that there will be a formal announcement of the new CEO soon.

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