The Board of FirstRand Limited announced that Jacques Celliers will succeed Michael Jordaan when he steps down as CEO of First National Bank at the end of this year to spend more time with his family.
Dr Jordaan, who has commuted for 5 years to and from his family home in Cape Town, first indicated to the FirstRand Board in 2010 that he would step down at the end of 2013. He was comfortable that having been CEO for 10 years he would have achieved the strategic and operational objectives that he set out for the business at the beginning of his tenure.
Jacques Celliers (41) is a member of the FNB Executive Committee and currently the CEO of FNB Business Banking and head of FNB’s Indian expansion. The necessary regulatory process with the Registrar of Banks has been concluded. Dr Jordaan will be handing over responsibilities to Mr Celliers incrementally over the next 6 months and it is expected to be a very smooth succession.
Jordaan commented that whilst he was sad to be leaving, the bank was in great shape. “Recently voted the most innovative bank in the world and with a clear leadership position in digital banking and innovative banking channels, FNB will continue with its successful strategy of generating new technologies and cost-effective products for our customers,” he said.
Sizwe Nxasana CEO of FirstRand said that Michael Jordaan had overseen a period of significant business growth, innovation and profitability at FNB and was an individual with exceptional skills and experience.
“Michael’s tenure at FNB has been incredibly successful. Much of which can be attributed to his passion for innovation which, backed up by his knowledge of the intersection of banking, technology and social media, has delivered strong growth and excellent returns for the Group and its shareholders.
“I am confident that the FNB management team, under the leadership of Jacques will continue on its successful growth path. During his career at FNB Jacques has demonstrated a unique ability to bring leadership and innovative thinking to many aspects of FNB’s operations.
“We fully understand Michael’s desire to spend more time with his young family, and recognize that his 5 years of commuting weekly from Cape Town has been a significant sacrifice. A naturally empowering leader he has built a team around him that can continue with that legacy. We are also fortunate that Michael will continue his involvement with the Group in a non-executive capacity on various boards and committees.”
Jacques Celliers graduated as an Engineer from the University of Stellenbosch in 1994. In 1998 he completed an MBA at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and was an exchange student at Wharton College, University of Pennsylvania in the USA.
He joined FNB 12 years ago in an eCommerce development role supporting the launch of eBucks.com. He then managed a number of initiatives particularly focusing on innovative entry strategies in certain new markets FNB had identified for expansion and JV’s. Prior to being appointed CEO of Business Banking he ran FNB Credit Card and Retail Foreign Exchange.
“I am both humbled and excited to be offered this opportunity to take over from Michael who has left an incredible legacy of innovation and profitable growth,” commented Celliers. “Over the next six months I will work closely with Michael and the rest of the FNB executive team to ensure we maintain and build on the momentum that has been created.”