John Vitalo quits Atlas Mara with immediate effect


Atlas Mara Limited, a financial services group with 36% stake in Union Bank said John Vitalo has stepped down as the group’s chief executive officer.

In a surprising move, John Vitalo stepped down yesterday with immediate effect.

The company did not provide any reason for his exit but it said the move was to “enable faster expansion and responsiveness to changes in the market environment. As part of the execution strategy, the company plans to significantly reduce operating expense and staff cost at the center by more than US$20 million per year on an annualised basis”.

It is unclear whether John Vitalo was pressured to step down from his position and the board. However, Atlas Mara has seen its fortunes dipped over recessions in Nigeria and poor performance of some its major holdings in Africa.

The company made efforts to calm the nerves of its investors as it said in the statement that group has capable hands in the system to run the company. The company has named Sanjeev Anand as the new Group Managing Director for Retail and Commercial Banking.

Mike Christelis is now the Group Managing Director for Markets and Treasury while Chidi Okpala, the former head of digital is now the Group Managing Director for Fintech.

Who is John Vitalo?

John Vitalo, CEO, Atlas Mara

Atlas Mara also disclosed that its right issue was “Over 90% of this offering was subscribed by our existing shareholders, as announced to the market earlier today”.

Atlas Mara was started by Bob Diamond, the former Group Chairman of Barclays Bank along side Ashish Thakkrar.