Shaking things up at the World Bank

World Bank President Jim Kim meets with young Ivorian job trainees
Jim Kim meets with young Ivorian job trainees.
World Bank

The fingerprints of World Bank President Jim Kim are appearing in more places after only a year on the job. He unveiled an initiative to both bring electricity to every person in the world and end extreme poverty by 2030. Now he is making some managerial moves within the World Bank, reports Bloomberg.

Two senior executives with decades of experience in the World Bank will retire in October. The inside-baseball move is further evidence of Jim Kim’s path towards changing the very way that the World Bank operates.

“Kim is clearly signaling that he plans to engineer a significant transformation in the bank’s orientation and operating procedures, starting with a revamp of top management,” said Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell University, to Bloomberg.

A town-hall meeting will be held in September for employees to ask questions, Kim said. He said a draft report of his strategy will be released “in coming weeks.”

Kim said in an interview last month that he would present the strategy to the bank’s shareholders in October.

Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, a former finance minister of Indonesia, will also become chief operating officer, Kim said today. The heads of human resources and external relations will report to Kim directly, he said.

“As we move from design to implementation, a realignment of responsibilities among senior management is needed to take forward the next phase of our change program,” Kim wrote in the memo. “We have made some important decisions, and with today’s announcement, we have the leadership team that will deliver the results we need.”

The shareholder meetings in October will likely be a time when Kim will unveil his new plan for the World Bank. Only then can we get a better sense of how these moves will affect developing countries that work with the World Bank.

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Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.