In what appeared a swift response to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive to banks which chief executives have served for 10 years and above to name new officers by the end of June, the Board of United Bank for Africa (UBA), yesterday announced the appointment of Mr. Phillips Oduoza, as its Group Chief Executive designate. His appointment is expected to take effect on August 1, when the incumbent chief executive, Mr. Tony Elumelu, would have completed his tenure in line with the directive.
Oduoza has, since the controversial intervention of the apex bank in eight Nigerian banks (excluding the UBA) been visible in the bank's scheme of things, an indication that he had been anointed the crown prince for the post-Elumelu. The UBA had, shortly after the announcement and media report of the tenure limit for bank CEOs, last Tuesday, published an advertorial in some print media indicating its preparedness for a change of baton at its top echelon of leadership.
According to the bank, a succession plan had long been instituted, prior to the CBN directive. Hence, the new rule would not in any way alter its short, medium and long-term business strategies.
Ouoza has 22 years experience in banking and financial services, spanning banking operations, relationship management, credit/marketing, technology implementation, risk management, lean banking methods and brand management.
Prior to his appointment, Oduoza was the bank's Deputy Managing Director, overseeing its operations in the South, which is the UBA Group's largest strategic business group.
A statement from the bank last night said he would commence as the Group Chief Executive of the Bank on August 1, 2010.
In the interim, "Oduoza will work in tandem with Mr. Tony Elumelu, current Group Chief Executive of UBA to ensure that the transition is seamless."
The statement also quoted Elumelu as saying that "UBA has grown to be an African financial institution in a short period of time, redefining banking not just in Nigeria, but across Africa."
"Phillips, in conjunction with the extremely strong Executive team that surrounds him, will play a determining role in delivering on the promises we have made to our customers, shareholders and staff.
"His appointment, from an extremely able team, is also a tribute to UBA's long-standing commitment to nurturing talent and ensuring orderly succession planning."
Oduoza's appointment coincides with the opening of UBA's Zambian operations - the first Southern African business unit for the Group, "emphasizing bank's vision of bringing world-class banking services to all regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and follows its successful openings in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania."
An accomplished scholar, with a First-class Degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA (Finance) from the University of Lagos, Oduoza is also an Alumnus of the Advanced Management Programme of the Harvard Business School.
Reacting to his appointment last night, Oduoza said: "I am honoured to be called upon to fulfill the role of Group Chief Executive at this defining moment in the bank and indeed the Nigerian financial services industry.
"The UBA Group has a very clear strategic path, one that I was a part of the team that defined it, and I look forward to playing my part in achieving those goals with determination, responsibility and hard work."
Other appointments that were announced by the UBA Board include Femi Olaloku, as Executive Director and Group Chief Operating Officer; Kennedy Uzoka, as Executive Director - Nigeria South; and Ifeatu Onejeme, as Executive Director with responsibility for Treasury, Corporate and Investment Banking and the Group's operations outside Africa
Similarly, Victor Osadolor was appointed Deputy Managing Director.
Osadolor joined Standard Trust Bank in 2000 as Divisional Director, Strategy and Support, and was later appointed Executive Director in June 2002.
An alumnus of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Programme and a fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Victor co-chaired the team that managed the STB-UBA integration programme, and has been a key member of the bank's senior management team since that transaction was completed.
He is currently Executive Director/Group Chief Finance Officer.
Source: The Guardian