Maria Ramos, the CEO at Transnet has made an interesting announcement. She has said that she will be leaving her office in February to take up the job at banking group ABSA. She will replace Steve Booysen as the new CEO at ABSA.
ABSA has also officially confirmed the news regarding the appointment of Maria Ramos. After this announcement, it is interesting to note that South Africa has become the first ever financial institution, if not in the world then definitely in South Africa to have a female CEO and a chair person.
The share value of Absa dropped by R5 after the media reported the impending departure of Booysen. This drop in the shares from R98 to R93 goes to show how popular Booysen is in his job.
Ramos will be heading the bank when the financial intuition is facing hardships due to effects of global economic slump and the troubles of the local economy that push bad debts and place the bank profits under huge pressure. Ramos thus has a huge challenge in front of her.
When Booysenwas the head of ABSA, the bank transformed enormously from being just a small retail bank to becoming a major player in the global market. It showed marked improvement in the fields of credible investment and several merchant banking operations. He also sealed a deal with the UK-based Barclays that further helped establish ABSA as a global financial player.
Now that Booysen will be stepping down from his position as ABSA’s current CEO, he will also have a set of challenges in front of him. He has the target to complete his incumbency as CEO and submit the report of year-end results. He might then take some time off to think about his next step.
We know that Ramos has been romantically involved with Trevor Manuel, who is the current finance minister. In the press conference she had to answer a few questions related to her conflicts of interest as the finance ministry has the complete control over the financial services sector.
Ramos has clearly dismissed all concerns about conflicts of interest as her personal life is different from her professional life. She said that she has achieved everything in her professional life out of hard work and honesty.
Ramos had joined the Transnet when the organization was facing a lot of challenges and throughout her tenure she saw a lot of ups and downs. She focused on the business and very soon her attempts paid off and she was able to pull the company from being in a state of Transnet to a profit making company.
While Ramos declined questions related to her successor, Transnet chairman said that the company will soon announce a successor before Ramos leaves.
Although Ramos has been known for her reputation of being a turnaround queen who changed the fate of Transnet, we don’t think that is the reason behind her appointment at ABSA. The bank is already doing pretty well and it does not look like the company needs any instant change.
This article first appeared on moneyweb: Ramos to head ABSA