Women's Tabloid

Home SpotlightWomen in Leadership Mary Vilakazi appointed as FirstRand’s New CEO

Mary Vilakazi appointed as FirstRand’s New CEO

This marks a historic moment as Vilakazi becomes the first woman to lead the financial services group in its 185-year history.

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

FirstRand has announced the appointment of Mary Vilakazi as its new CEO, succeeding Alan Pullinger, who is set to step down in April next year. Currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the South Africa-based lender, Vilakazi will assume her new role on April 1st, according to a statement by FirstRand. Alan Pullinger, who has been with the bank for 26 years and assumed the position of Group CEO in early 2018, will be succeeded by Vilakazi.

Mary Vilakazi’s career trajectory includes a transition from the insurance sector to banking at FirstRand, with previous roles at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings. In 2017, she reached the position of Deputy CEO of MMI Holdings Limited.

Vilakazi has also held board positions at various companies, including Kagiso Media Limited, MS Group subsidiaries, Holdsport Limited, and the Development Bank of South Africa.

During her tenure at MMI, Vilakazi served as the CEO of Balance Sheet Management and assumed the role of Group Chief Financial Officer in 2015. In 2017, she was promoted to Deputy CEO of the group.

In 2018, she took on the role of Chief Operating Officer for the FirstRand group. In her capacity as COO, Vilakazi concurrently held the position of FirstRand’s executive director, responsible for diversification strategies in insurance and investment management. She also served as a trustee of the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation.

Expressing her enthusiasm about her upcoming role, Vilakazi stated, “I am delighted to be entrusted with the leadership of one of the largest and most profitable financial institutions in Africa.”

She further emphasized that the group’s success during her tenure would be built upon its portfolio of leading brands, top-tier talent, a culture of empowerment and accountability, and an unwavering commitment to creating shareholder value.

Recommended For You