For 10 years Maria Ramos has served as the group chief executive for Absa and today she announced she will be stepping down from the position.

The group chief executive is only set to depart in February which also marks her 60th birthday but she has left an indelible mark on the bank and leaves some pretty big shoes to fill.

“Maria has been Group Chief Executive for 10 years and has led the Group through significant milestones, including the aftermath of the global financial crisis and acquiring the Barclays Africa subsidiary banks in 2013,” Absa said in a statement.

The bank reveals that Ramos wanted to step down from her post earlier than this but agreed to see Absa Group through the separation of the bank from Barclays.

“My earlier intentions to step down were curtailed by Barclays’s 2016 decision to sell down their controlling stake, a unique set of circumstances that required continuity. So with my coming 60th birthday, I have made the decision to leave the position open for a new CE to lead the group on the next leg of its exciting journey,” Ramos told Business Day.

On that note, Absa has named René van Wyk as the Absa Group and Absa Bank interim chief executive. Van Wyk will take up the position from 1st March.

“We will announce a permanent appointment to the position of Group Chief Executive in due course, following the conclusion of the ongoing, rigorous selection process and the requisite regulatory approvals,” Absa concluded.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.