The Board of Australia Post has selected Christine Holgate as the corporation’s next managing director and group CEO, to succeed Ahmed Fahour, who is leaving in July after seven-and-a-half years in the role, following the outcry over his multi-million dollar salary package.
Ms Holgate will officially start in the position mid-to-late October 2017. She joins Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable & Wireless.
Ms Holgate, who is the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Australia-ASEAN Council, supporting the development of trade and cultural relations between Australia and the 10 member countries of the ASEAN region, joined Blackmores in 2008 and took the company some wild and turbulent years, including an aggressive expansion into China.
Australia Post chairman John Stanhope said Ms Holgate’s Asian and eCommerce experience were important factors.
“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 eCommerce 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.
“Ms Holgate has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally.
” Ms Holgate’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: “Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world. I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can really strengthen Post’s leading position in the eCommerce market – both here, in Australia, and in Asia.
“I’m a passionate advocate for Australian business seizing the opportunity that’s on our doorstep in Asia and that creates opportunities for everyone – our workforce, our shareholder, the community, as well as businesses across Australia.
What about the pay?
Ms Holgate’s remuneration 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.
In the meantime, current Australia Post Group chief customer officer Christine Corbett will lead the business through the CEO transition period, between Ahmed Fahour’s departure on 28 July and Ms Holgate’s arrival in October.