Adaora Umeoji becomes first female CEO of Zenith Bank

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Zenith Bank has appointed Adaora Umeoji as its new group managing director and chief executive officer (GMD/CEO).


The bank disclosed this on Tuesday, in a corporate filing on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), signed by Michael Osilima, its secretary.

According to the financial institution, Umeoji’s appointment will take effect from June 1, 2024.


Umeoji’s appointment makes her the first female to take up the position, Zenith Bank said.

Financial firm said she will replace Ebenezer Onyeagwu whose five-year tenure as GMD/CEO elapses on May 31 this year.

Prior to Umeoji’s appointment as CEO, according to the bank’s corporate filing, she was the deputy managing director of Zenith from October 28, 2016.

The bank said Umeoji has over 30 years of experience in banking of which 26 years had been with Zenith Bank.

“She 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 Program,” Zenith said.

“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.

“She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calabar, and also has a doctorate in business administration from Apollos University, USA.

“She 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 including 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 all from Harvard Business School, USA.”

Umeoji is also a fellow of notable professional bodies including the Chartered Banker Institute, UK; Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Institute of Management, among others.

According to the statement, in 2022, the federal government of Nigeria honoured Umeoji with the title of officer of the order of Nigeria (OON) in recognition of her contributions to nation-building.

The banker is said to be a peace advocate of the United Nations (UN-POLAC).

Zenith Bank also said the new CEO is the founder of the Catholic Bankers Association of Nigeria (CBAN), a platform she uses to promote ethical banking and service to humanity.