Maria Ramos is the Group CEO of Absa Group Ltd. Before joining Absa in March 2009, she was the Group CEO of Transnet Ltd, the state-owned freight transport and logistics service provider, for five years. This was after a seven-year stint as Director-General of the National Treasury.
An accomplished academic, Ramos has taught at various institutions. She is also a recipient of honorary doctorates from the Stellenbosch and Free State universities.
Ramos led Transnet through a massive financial, cultural and operational turnaround. She also played a key role in transforming the Treasury into one of the most effective and efficient state departments in the post-apartheid administration.
Her numerous awards include the Wits Business School’s Management Excellence Award (2010), successive rankings in the global 2010 Fortuneannual ranking survey, the Sunday Times Business Times Business Leader of the Year (2005), as well as being named Businesswoman of the Yearby the SA Businesswomen’s Association in 2001. Forbes magazine named Maria 32nd on its 2010 “Top 100 most powerful women in the world” list.
She has served as a non-executive and independent director on the boards of Sanlam Ltd, Remgro Ltd and SABMiller PLC, and currently serves on the executive committee of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council. Ramos is a member of the Chief Economist Advisory Council of the World Bank, Business Leadership of SA, Institute of International Finance, International Monetary Forum as well as the Banking Association of SA. She is also a member of the Barclays PLC Executive Committee.