CEOs on the move: New hires in Africa

For the latest changes in executive appointments across Africa, follow Africa Advisory Group. This month, Ecobank and Sanlam appointed new CEOs. Ecobank found its new leadership outside of the company while Sanlam made an in-house appointment.


Lome, Togo: Ecobank Group hired Ade Ayeyemi as its new CEO. The appointment takes effect September 1, 2015. Mr. Ayeyemi, 52, is currently the CEO for Citi’s Sub-Sahara Division based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He replaces Albert Essien, who retires at the end of June after 25 years at the bank.

Ecobank Chairman Emmanuel Ikazoboh said Mr. Ayeyemi will be tasked with leading the bank through its next stage “as a world-class pan-African bank” and is well placed to do so with his vast banking experience across the continent. Ecobank currently has a presence in 36 African countries and employs over 20,000 people.

Mr. Ayeyemi attended university in Nigeria and the U.K. and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He’s also a Chartered Accountant.


Johannesburg, South Africa: South African insurance company Sanlam appointed current Deputy Group Chief Executive Ian Kirk, 56, as its new Group Chief Executive and Executive Director of Sanlam and Sanlam Life Insurance Limited. The position takes effect July 1, 2015.

Mr. Kirk replaces Johan van Zyl, who was at the helm of Sanlam for 12 years.

Prior to joining Sanlam, Mr. Kirk was a partner at PwC, CEO of Capital Alliance Holdings, and Deputy CEO of Liberty Group.

The Sanlam Group has a direct presence in 11 African countries.

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