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Priscillah Mabelane Becomes First Black Woman CEO in South African Oil Industry

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Priscillah Mabelane takes the role of CEO of BP, South Africa, or BPSA. This notable achievement breaks barriers in South Africa and beyond as Mabelane becomes the first black woman to hold the CEO position of a major oil company in the South African oil industry.

Mabelane has a history of excelling in leadership positions for various companies including multiple senior positions at Airports Company South Africa, Ernst & Young, and Eskom Holdings. Mabelane joined BPSA in 2011 as chief financial officer and from there was appointed to the CEO position.

“I felt mixed emotions on being appointed, but now I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given,”says Mabelane in regards to her new title as CEO. “I know there are a lot of talented young people who look up to me. “I need to lead by example.

BP South Africa chairperson Thandi Orleyn acknowledges this celebratory news and vouches her confidence in Priscillah’s skills and capability to run this division.

“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,” says Orleyn.

Mabelane’s promotion displays BPSA’s commitment to “ cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce” however Mabelane feels that it comes a little too late.  In an interview with South Africa’s News 24,  expresses concern that this landmark achievement was not made until 2017.

Appointed August 28th,  Mabelane officially began her role as CEO on September 1st 2017.  As she grows and creates change at BPSA, her success will continue to inspire across the world. “I do not want to be a special story … I just want to be an example to women that it is possible,” Mabelane exclaims.


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