Former International Banking Executive named CEO
Oak Brook, Ill., (April 7, 2009) — Opportunity International today announced the retirement of Christopher A. Crane as president and CEO and provided details of its plan for leadership succession. While an executive search for a new CEO is underway, Kadita “A.T.” Tshibaka, member of the Opportunity International Board of Directors and former international banking executive, has been appointed president and CEO.
Crane has successfully led Opportunity International through dramatic growth since 2002. “It’s been a wonderful honor to be part of the terrific Opportunity team for nearly seven years to benefit God’s beloved poor,” Crane said. “As an entrepreneur myself, I have a special place in my heart for impoverished entrepreneurs, and it’s been a great privilege to use my skills to help build Opportunity to its current size. Now it’s time to pass the baton to someone else who will take the organization to the next level.”
Peter Thorrington, chair of the Opportunity Board of Directors, states, “Chris Crane has served tirelessly to build our organization to what it is today. He helped raise over $260 million for Opportunity International, enabling millions of people to work their way out of poverty.” Revenue from private individuals, foundations and corporations increased by a 30% compound annual growth rate during Crane’s tenure. During the same period, Opportunity’s client base has grown from 370,000 to 1.5 million today.
Opportunity International recruited Crane out of his first retirement which followed the successful IPO and sale of his San Diego-based company. He was named Ernst and Young and USA Today Entrepreneur of the Year in San Diego in 1999. Crane leveraged his leadership experience to expand Opportunity’s senior staff, board of directors and donor community that will carry forward his passion for serving the needs of the poor.
While an executive search is in process, the role of president and CEO will be filled by Tshibaka, a long-time supporter of Opportunity International. Tshibaka has extensive international banking experience and serves on several Opportunity boards. He has been the head of corporate credit risk for emerging markets for Citibank and head of divisional risk management for the Wholesale and International Banking Division of Lloyds TSB Group plc. Tshibaka was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration. During the past several years, Opportunity International has opened 12 banks and an additional five regulated financial institutions, all in developing nations. Tshibaka’s extensive leadership and banking experience make him highly qualified for his new role.
Additionally, Tom Skelton has been appointed to the leadership team as COO. Skelton has been involved with Opportunity for over 20 years and is a member of the Opportunity International President’s Council and the former chief operating officer of Manugistics. He transformed the company from its computer time-sharing roots to a high-performing public software company with more than $60 million in revenue. The new appointments will take effect today, and Crane will assist with the transition through the end of April.
“Opportunity International is tremendously grateful to Chris Crane for his passionate and effective service as our chief executive and thankful for the support that he will provide to Kadita and Tom as they take on their new leadership roles,” stated Thorrington.
About Opportunity International
Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in over 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. For more information, visit http://www.opportunity.org or join the conversation at http://facebook.com/opportunityintl and http://twitter.com/opportunityintl.