Commercial Bank Reshuffles Top Brass

Ahmed Abitew to chair the board of directors at the bank

Ahmed Abitew, director of the state policy think tank, assumed board chairmanship of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, replacing Yinager Dessie (PhD), who was recently appointed governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia.

Sintayehu Woldemichael (PhD), director general of the Public Financial Institutions Supervisory Agency, assigned Ahmed to the post effective September 19, 2018.

Yinager, who was Commissioner of the National Planning Commission, was named chairperson a year ago following the departure of Bereket Simon, who chaired the board of the bank for six years. When Yinager was assigned to be governor of the National Bank last June by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), he was automatically discharged from his chairmanship at the bank.

Ahmed headed the Policy Study & Research Center, a state think tank, since last April. Before assuming his new appointment, he had served as the minister of Industry. Prior to his appointment at the federal government, he was the deputy administrator of the Amhara Regional State and head of the region’s Industry & Urban Development Bureau. Since 1992, he has held several posts within the Amhara Regional State, including the Finance & Economic Development Bureau. Ahmed, a political bureau member of the ANDM-EPRDF, has remained a board member of Dashen Breweries.

For the past two and half months, the 75-year-old bank, which posted 11 billion Br in annual profits and more than 565 billion Br in assets, has seen major reshuffles. In that period, the bank welcomed a new president and changed half of its senior executive management members.

In August, the bank received Bacha Gina, who started his career as a junior project officer at the Commercial Bank in 1997, as its eighth president. He replaced Bekalu Zeleke, who moved to the central bank as a vice governor, after serving the bank for almost a decade. Bacha earned a master’s degree in business administration from Unity University and obtained his first degree in accounting from Addis Abeba University.

Before moving to Commercial Bank, he served as vice president of Cooperative Bank of Oromia in charge of credit management and as chief financial officer & support services officer at Awash Bank.

The appointment of Bacha as president was followed by the reshuffling of senior officers at the bank, with human resources chief officer Seifu Bogale, business chief officer Mulugeta Alemayehu, chief officer for internal auditor Solomon Alula and legal officer Kefletsion Mamo leaving their executive suite posts in the past two months.

The bank recently assigned Surra Saketa as chief officer for legal services, Ali Ahmed as chief officer of human resources, Kidane Mengesha as chief of Audit, and Fikreselassie Zewdu as acting chief officer for business.

“The new appointments are made following the recent human resources restructuring,” Yishak Mengesha, vice president of the Bank, told Fortune.

Since May the bank, which has 32,000 employees, has been undergoing restructuring under a program developed by Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. The restructuring affected some 3,000 employees with managerial portfolios but did not include the staff, following objections placed by their labour union.

The bank was established as the State Bank of Ethiopia with one million Maria Theresa thalers in capital, two branches and only 43 staff. Currently, it has 1,288 branches,  1,798 ATMs  and 11,796 Point of Sale terminals. Last fiscal year, the bank gave out 100 billion Br in new loans and collected 62.2 billion Br in repayments.

During the past operating year, the bank received 87 billion Br in deposits, exceeding its own plans for the year by 25pc. This pushed the total deposits the bank is holding to 451.8 billion Br.


Published on Sep 29,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 961]



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