Ecobank CEO May Not Seek Extension, Says Board to Commence Search for Replacement

By Peter OBIORA InvestAdvocate

Lagos (INVESTADVOCATE)-Albert Essien, chief executive officer of Pan-Africa lender, Ecobank Group said on Sunday that he would not seek an extension to his tenure and that the board would soon commence a formal search process for a successor, a Reuters report said.

In March Essien was appointed CEO of Ecobank when his predecessor, Thierry Tanoh was forced to step down following issues bordering on corporate governance concerns. ‘’Those issues are now largely resolved following reforms to the board and the implementation of a 51-point action plan,’’ Essien said.

Following the corporate governance challenges, South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, the largest shareholder at Ecobank called for Tanoh to resign.  The board had earlier met in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, after an extraordinary general meeting held early March in Lome where shareholders decided they keep the 12-member board and approved a plan to improve corporate governance following recommendations by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Essien’s appointment, he was then quoted in a statement as saying “We have faced challenges at the governance level in the recent past, but they are not insurmountable. “We have put in place a detailed governance action plan which will strengthen us to meet these challenges. We have put in place measures to improve our controls and systems as required, further to completion of all internal and external reviews.”

Though, he has about eight months more to reach the bank’s statutory retirement age next year and is due to step down, probably around the time of the shareholder meeting in mid-2015.

Before becoming CEO, Essien was deputy CEO and group executive director for corporate and investment banking.

Comments are closed.