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Priscillah Mabelane the new BPSA CEO first black and female to head multi-national petroleum company

The oil industry is making room for women participation with petroleum giant BPSA appointing the first ever black woman as their new Chief Executive. Priscillah Mabelane is the first woman in the history of South Africa’s oil industry to become a chief executive, and it is also the first such appointment for any multi-national petroleum company.



Priscillah Mabelane. Photo: BPSA/Press release

Priscillah Mabelane is the first woman in the history of South Africas oil industry to become a chief executive of BP Southern Africa (BPSA) or any multi-national petroleum company. Mabelane’s appointment is a tremendous milestone in the industry’s transformation journey.

She takes on the role exactly six years after joining the organization in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mabelane has more than 20 years of service and previously worked at Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) as CFO. At Ernst & Young she was a tax director, and at Eskom she held various roles in finance, tax and general management.

BPSA said Mabelane brings a “wealth of world-class experience and expertise” to her new role as chief executive. In her previous position she is ascribed with a strong safety record whilst delivering exceptional levels of financial performance.

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BPSA chairperson, Thandi Orleyn, thanked outgoing chief executive, Daniel Odogwu, who was at the helm for three and a half years and welcomed Mabelane. “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,” Orleyn said in a statement.  “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,” she added.

The Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi in a statement congratulated Mabelane on the appointment. “I look forward to her interaction and contribution to the programs that promote radical socio-economic transformation within the energy sector.” “As she joins the ranks of South African women breaking barriers in all areas of society, Priscillah Mabelane’s accomplishment as the first black woman CEO of one of the multi-national oil majors is a significant achievement to be acknowledged,” said Kubayi.

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Mabelane and BP Gender equity drive

Mabelane’s appointment follows two recent female senior executive appointments to the BPSA leadership team. Kelebogile Tseladimitlwa was appointed human resources director Southern Africa, and Prinisha Khoosal as commercial integration manager, Southern Africa in 2016.

“BPSA currently boasts the highest number (6) of women in leadership positions, which is over 50% of the executive team. The organisation’s board chairperson position is also currently held by a woman, Adv. Thandi Orleyn, since 2011,” the company says.


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