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BP Southern Africa (BPSA) has appointed Priscillah Mabelane as its new chief executive. A chartered accountant, Mabelane is the first woman in the history of South Africa’s oil industry to head a multinational company.

This marks a significant milestone in the organisation and industry’s transformation journey, BP said in the statement announcing Mabelane’s appointment. She will start in the position on 1 September, six years after joining the organisation as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Priscilla Mabelane

“Priscillah has more than 20 years of service in a number of key leadership positions and she brings a wealth of world-class experience and expertise to her new role as chief executive. Given her proven track record in her previous executive roles, we are confident that Priscillah will be a strong leader for our business, especially as we continue to explore new areas of growth and development,” the company said.

“Priscillah’s appointment reinforces BPSA’s pioneering role and strength of commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce that will breed creativity and ensure we meet, even exceed customer expectations,” said BPSA chairperson, Thandi Orleyn, who thanked outgoing chief executive Daniel Odogwu, who ran the company for three and a half years.

Prior to joining BP, Mabelane held various executive roles in a number of large South African companies. These included Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) where she held the position of a CFO, Ernst & Young where she was a tax director, and at Eskom where she held various roles in finance, tax and general management.

Mabelane’s appointment is the latest in a number of women who have joined the BPSA leadership team. Kelebogile Tseladimitlwa was appointed Human Resources Director for Southern Africa, and Prinisha Khoosal joined as Commercial Integration Manager for Southern Africa.

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