Cape Town - Michael Jordaan said in a recent media interview that all executives should resign after 10 years, otherwise their ideas become stale and they start forgiving people that have become too close to them.
At the end of the year, when he is set to step down as CEO of the world’s "most innovative bank", he will have been at the helm of First National Bank (FNB) for 10 years and “would have achieved the strategic and operational objectives that he had set out for the business at the beginning of his tenure,” parent company FirstRand [JSE:FSR] said in a statement announcing Jordaan’s departure.
During his tenure, Jordaan has used his love for technology to transform FNB into the “coolest” bank in South Africa.
The first CEO in South Africa to join Twitter and a self-confessed Twitter addict, Jordaan tweeted on Wednesday: "After ten good years at FNB, I will step down as CEO at end of 2013. Thanks for all your support."
This was met with a flood of tributes from his Twitter followers, to which he responded: “Thanks for all the well-wishes, cool and funny tweets. Can’t respond individually, bit snowed under. But very grateful.”
Under Jordaan’s tenure, FNB has been the first bank to launch a banking application for mobile communication devices - including tablets and smartphones - as part of its banking offering to clients.
Last October, FNB was named the most innovative bank in the world at the prestigious BAI - Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards ceremony in Washington DC.
In a City Press in an interview Jordaan said the FNB Innovators Programme was introduced in 2004 and since then 5 585 innovations have been implemented. These include cellphone banking and cardless cash withdrawal, which have made banking easier, quicker and more accessible.
FNB's eWallet service, which enables consumers to send and receive money via cellphones, was also a finalist in the product/service innovation category.
FNB, selected from among 150 entries from over 30 countries, was honoured for its culture of innovation and progress in retail banking.
FirstRand said Jordaan had already informed its board in 2010 of his intention to retire at the end of 2013 to spend more time his family.
On Wednesday, Jordaan told Bloomberg that his plans for the next few years include "family, travel and innovation-driven entrepreneurship".
Fin24’s sister publication Sake24 reported on Wednesday that Jordaan and his wife Rose had bought the Bartinney wine estate on the Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch in 2006. His family is already living on the farm and he is to join them.
Jordaan, who turned 45 last month, will be succeeded by 41-year-old Jacques Celliers, currently the CEO of FNB Business Banking, head of FNB's India expansion and a member of the FNB executive committee.
FirstRand thanked Jordaan for his tenure at FNB “where he oversaw a period of significant growth in profits, innovation and excellent returns to shareholders”.
Over the past nine years, FNB's earnings have grown at an annual compound growth rate of 15%.
“Celliers has demonstrated a unique ability to bring innovative thinking to both the strategic opportunities and operational challenges of retail and commercial banking, and would continue (to take the bank) on its successful strategic growth path,” FirstRand said.
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