New leadership at Australia Post

CHRISTINE HOLGATE has taken the managing directorship and CEO reins at Australia Post, succeeding Ahmed Fahour who has completed more than seven years in the role.

Ms Holgate – whose childhood experiences included her parents operating Royal Mail post offices in the UK – has joined Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable and Wireless. 

Australian Post chairman John Stanhope said the organisation undertook a thorough global search before choosing Ms Holgate to lead the business through the next phase of its transformation program.  

“Over the past seven years we have transformed Australia Post into Australia's leading parcels and e-commerce company and introduced critical reforms to the letters service,” Mr Stanhope said. “With Post now entering a new stage in our transformation, it's the perfect time for Christine to take the helm.

“Christine has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally. The board was impressed by her experience of working very successfully in a range of different industries that are highly regulated. And, on top of that, she has a proven ability to implement strategy – and successfully grow a business in Asia.

“Her knowledge of global e-commerce will be invaluable as we pursue our Asian strategy, which is all about offering logistics support to Australian businesses that are either selling in Asia, or sourcing their products there.

“Christine's business philosophy is also a perfect fit for Australia Post. She is a firm believer that businesses must perform commercially, but also serve the community. And that's entirely consistent with our objectives as a community-based business that has both commercial objectives and community service standards to uphold.” 

Ms Holgate said she felt privileged to be appointed as CEO of such an iconic Australian corporation and she looked forward to building on the achievements of her predecessors. 

After a public outcry on previous CEO Mr Fahour’s generous remuneration package of more than $4 million a year, Australia Post has announced that Ms Holgate’s salary package has been set at $1.375 million fixed annual total remuneration and the potential to earn incentive payments of up to $1.375 million, “in accordance with the parameters set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal”.

New appointments have also been made to the Australia Post board.

Holly Kramer has been named deputy chair, while Paul Scurrah and Deidre Willmott are new part-time non-executive directors of the Australia Post board, each for a term of three years. 

Ms Kramer has been serving as the acting deputy chair of Australia Post and her appointment will support continuity on the board. Her expertise in retail and technology, including as the former CEO of Best and Less, is indicative of an ongoing customer focus.

Mr Scurrah is the CEO of DP World Australia, a leading Australian container terminal stevedore company. He has strong experience in large scale logistics and transport.

Ms Willmott brings organisational transformation, government relations and business expertise to this position. She is the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia and formerly held senior roles with Fortescue Metals and as chief of staff to the Premier of Western Australia.

Federal Finance Minister Matthias Cormann said, “These appointments will significantly improve the gender and geographic diversity of the board. Five of the nine directors will be female, the first time that Australia Post’s board will be majority female.”


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