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Zenith Bank makes history with appointment of Adaora Umeoji as first female GMD/CEO


Zenith Bank makes history with appointment of Adaora Umeoji as first female GMD/CEO

Zenith Bank Plc has named Dr. Adaora Umeoji as its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, effective June 1.

This historic appointment was revealed in a notification sent to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) by the bank’s Company Secretary, Mr. Michael Otu.

Pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Umeoji will take the reins from Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, who has had a successful tenure over the past five years.

Notably, Umeoji’s appointment marks a significant milestone for Zenith Bank as she becomes the first female GMD/CEO in the bank’s history.

The decision to appoint Umeoji aligns with the bank’s commitment to leadership development and internal succession planning.

Prior to this appointment, Umeoji served as the Deputy Managing Director of the bank since October 28, 2016, bringing nearly 30 years of banking experience to her new role, with 26 of those years dedicated to Zenith Bank.

Umeoji is an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where she attended the Advanced Management Program (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 honors in Law from Baze University, Abuja.

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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, USA.

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, USA.

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

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 honored 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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