Zenith Bank names Adaora Umeoji as first female GMD

Zenith Bank Plc. has appointed Dr. Adaora Umeoji as its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The appointment takes effect from June 1.

Umeoji takes over from Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the bank’s current Group Managing Director, whose five-year term expires on May 31.

The bank’s Company Secretary, Mr. Michael Out, in a notification sent to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, said that the appointment was subject to approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The company secretary noted that Umeoji would be the first female GMD/CEO since the inception of the bank.

According to him, Umeoji’s appointment is consistent with the bank’s executive transition tradition, succession plan, and strategy of grooming leaders from within.

Otu said that prior to the appointment, Umeoji had been the Deputy Managing Director of the bank since October 28, 2016, with close to 30 years cognate banking experience of which 26 years had been with Zenith Bank.

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

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

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

Umeoji 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.

This includes, the strategic thinking and management programme at Wharton Business School, U.S.

She also attended the executive programme in Strategic Management and has a certificate in Leading Global Business from Harvard Business School, U.S.

Umeoji 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.

She is also a fellow of 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 honoured Umeoji with Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), as a recognition of her contributions to nation building.

She is a Peace Advocate of the United Nations (UN-POLAC) and has impacted many lives through her philanthropic and humanitarian activities through her NGOs: Pink Breathe Cancer Foundation and the Adorable Foundation.

As a result of her passion for promoting professionalism in the banking industry and improving the well-being of the less privileged, Umeoji founded the Catholic Bankers Association of Nigeria (CBAN).

The platform is used 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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