New CFO announced at Downer

Government infrastructure and assets services supplier Downer has announced the appointment of former Sydney Metro executive Malcolm Ashcroft as its Chief Financial Officer.

Mal Ashcroft

Mr Ashcroft, who starts his new job from July, will take over from Michael Ferguson, who has held the position since October 2016.

Mr Ashcroft is currently COO at G8 Education, and prior to that held senior executive roles including CFO at Healius, Deputy CFO and Group Executive Transformation at CIMIC Group, Acting Head of Finance and Risk at Sydney Metro, and Senior Audit Partner at KPMG.

Downer Group CEO, Peter Tompkins said Mr Ashcroft was an accomplished leader with significant financial and senior executive experience in publicly listed entities covering infrastructure services, construction, health and education.

“This appointment follows a comprehensive external candidate search and selection process, and we are delighted to have secured such a high calibre, accomplished senior executive,” he said in a statement on social media.

Corruption investigation

It comes as Downer finds itself, along with former employees of Inner West Council and Transport for NSW, at the centre of a corruption investigation by the NSW ICAC into alleged dodgy contract practices and kickbacks.

In a statement on its website Downer acknowledges the scope of the enquiry includes allegations relating to certain Downer employees, which if proven, would amount to dishonest conduct, and says it has a zero tolerance policy in respect of any such conduct.

“At Downer, all employees and contractors must comply with Downer’s Standards of Business Conduct. We are committed to obeying the letter and spirit of the law in every place where we do business. This applies to our people, our contractors, our suppliers and our agents,” the statement says.

“Breaking the law is a serious matter, and disciplinary action, including termination for misconduct, will be taken against any person who carries out an action (or fails to carry out an action) which results in breaking the law.”

Individuals referred to by ICAC as facing specific allegations are no longer employed by Downer, the company notes.

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