It was a mixed bag of appointments, all in diverse and influential industries.
Absa Group recently announced the appointment of experienced IT executive Johnson Idesoh as chief information and technology officer, effective 1 January 2023.
Johnson holds an MBA from the University of Strathclyde and recently completed Harvard’s prestigious C-suite programme. He was one of 162 executives who took part in the 202nd session of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management programme, which is a hybrid programme that can be completed through a combination of full-time, live online, and on-campus learning.
While Titi Ngubane was appointed as Bidvest Life’s new CIO, her appointment was intended to support the company’s next phase of growth. She brings more than 23 years of financial experience to Bidvest Life, having previously worked at Ubank, where she was instrumental in digitising the bank’s operations.
Titi’s exceptional track record of partnering with business leaders to drive business results and create points of differentiation in the market, according to Bidvest Life CEO Lulu Rasebotsa, was critical to her appointment. “Through her technical leadership, strategic thinking and business acumen, Titi is widely respected as a strong and visionary leader,” she says.
A brand ethos that resonates
In the insurance sector, Vijay Naidoo made his way over to Sanlam Retail Affluent to take the reins as the insurer’s new CIO. Sanlam’s mission of instilling confidence through financial freedom struck a chord with him, he says.
Before joining Sanlam Retail Affluent as CIO, Vijay Naidoo was the chief information officer at Old Mutual Finance. He has also held senior IT positions with large corporations such as Appletiser (a subsidiary of SABMiller) and Parmalat South Africa and Parmalat in Africa (a subsidiary of Lactalis), where he served as head of IT.
He points out that businesses today expect their CIOs to be innovative, and that this is what gives the advantage as an IT professional, adding that his experience in multiple sectors also goes a long way. “I bring years of experience across various industries and not just financial services,” he notes.
“This has given me the unique ability to spot opportunities for improvement and innovation where others might miss it. I am also passionate about how we can use technology to positively change people’s lives, and it’s this passion that makes me a valuable business partner,” Vijay added.
On the other hand, TymeBank, one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, appointed Bruce Paveley as its new CTO, but he wasn’t the only one: Bruce was one of two strategic executive recruitments.
“I am excited to welcome these talented and experienced individuals to TymeBank’s senior leadership team. Running a digital bank requires unique skills and attributes. We are extremely fortunate that two of the appointments come from within the group, while our new CFO is a seasoned banker who will help sharpen our focus on reaching profitability in 2023,” said Coen Jonker, CEO of TymeBank.
SAS, an analytics company, named Essie Mokgonyana as the company’s country manager and sales director in South Africa, with the goal of driving local business growth strategy and strengthening governance.
She has more than 15 years of experience in technical roles in the IT industry, with a strong emphasis on sales and business development, working with clients in the public sector, telecommunications, and banking.
“I am delighted to join SAS – and at such a transformational time. Never have we experienced such rapid rates of digital transformation in all tiers of society – from government to business and industry, and consumers. And Africa is no exception when it comes to witnessing the potential of digital transformation, particularly during the past two years,” says Essie.
“I am looking forward to working with our teams, partners and clients to realise the enormous potential we still have to further transform both public and private organisations through the adoption of our advanced analytics, AI and cloud-based solutions,” she adds.
Read more: Spearheading local business growth
Accelerating digital transformation
In an effort to accelerate human change management and digital transformation at Absa CIB, the bank appointed Richard Southey as chief digital officer (CDO), bringing critical commercial expertise to the table.
“My commercial experience allows us (Absa CIB) to transition at a more practical level, where the process is business led rather than being purely about the digital drive,” he said.
“The high-level objective here is to enable ourselves and our clients with digital tools and capabilities. The main goal is digital transformation with a real focus on adoption and efficiency, measured by client and colleague experience, value and cost.”