Revolving Doors

By Colin Kerr

The CFO market continues to reflect growing market confidence with another increase in CFO movements compared to the same period last year. Once again, the majority of the moves were in NSW – however VIC also had some activity, especially in a couple of bigger businesses (Afterpay, CSL, Cleanaway Waste Management, Nufarm, and ME Bank all changing their CFO).

There are also several great roles currently being recruited in NSW due to the current CFO’s announcing their retirement. These include the following:

• Mirvac, where Shane Gannon has announced he is stepping down; and

• Challenger, where Andrew Tobin has given 6 months’ notice of his intention to retire.

We have a couple of CFO’s moving to CEO roles which will also create new opportunities;

Mark Herron has been promoted to CEO at Australian Agribusiness, the process for the new CFO is nearing completion.

Nick Hawkins has been confirmed as CEO at IAG. Michelle McPherson is currently Acting CFO – I would expect she will be confirmed as CFO shortly; and

Jarrod White has become the interim CEO at THC Global Group (a cannabis company). There is an executive search running for the CEO role. If Jarrod becomes CEO, then a new CFO opportunity will be created.

Other roles in the market include the following:

• Real Pet Foods has appointed Clive Cuthell as CFO following Andrew Townend’s move to Custom Ink;

• My sources tell me that after 17 years with Optus (12 as CFO), Murray King has announced his intention to retire. I understand his replacement will come from the internal ranks;

• The TAFE NSW CFO role will also be completing shortly – will let you know who has been appointed once this has been confirmed; and

• The search for the new CFO for Cochlear continues with Brent Cubis leaving at the end of this year.

Following a report out this month from The Chief Executive Women that there were only 10 female CEO’s in ASX 200 companies, it was pleasing to see two female CFO’s appointed this month into ASX 200 companies;

Rebecca Lowde moves into Afterpay as CFO replacing Luke Bortoli. Rebecca had been CEO at Salmat

Joy Linton becomes the new CFO at CSL (coming from Bupa), replacing David Lamont who is moving to BHP.

Other females who have landed new CFO roles this month include:

Josee Lemoine who will start in November with Freedom Foods. Josee was previously the CFO at Invocare;

Reena Minhas is the new CFO at image solutions business IMEXHS; and

Kitrina Shanahan moves from Westpac to take her first standalone CFO role with portfolio management company HUB24.

I did an analysis of female CFO’s in ASX 200 companies a few months ago – at that stage the number of female CFO’s was sitting at 14%. I will update this information in my next CFO report.

Other CFO moves of interest this month include:

Alex Ostermann has been confirmed as the CFO Pathology at Healius – the largest division of the Healius Group;

Clare Yule has moved from Freedom Furniture to the world of Professional Services – joining legal firm Dentons as their CFO;

Sunil Patel is the new CFO of diversified property group Arkadia. Sunil has a strong property background from Redcape, Thakral and Australand;

Peter Steel is the new interim CFO at Hills – John Jacka leaves the company after four years in the role;

Ross Aucutt has moved from FlexiGroup and is the new CFO at Prospa – the online lender to small business;

Troy Ritchie is the new CFO at industrial services business – Contract Resources. Troy was previously CFO at Unispace.

If there are any moves that have been missed which you think would be worth sharing or wish to discuss your own next move, please contact Colin via [email protected]


Colin Kerr, Senior Associate, Executive Accounting & Finance | U&U Recruitment Partners

Colin recruits interim and contracting roles in the Accounting and Finance space. This includes the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role and their direct reports (Financial Controller, Finance Manager, Management Accountant, Financial Planning & Analysis), as well as any other finance roles that sit in a corporate head office – tax, internal audit and treasury.

Colin has two decades of experience in accounting and finance recruitment in Sydney. A qualified Chartered Accountant, he began his career with PwC in their audit team in London. After a secondment to PwC Jakarta for three years, Colin moved to Sydney in 1997 and his career in recruitment began.

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