Revolving Doors

By Colin Kerr

The market, as usual, was much busier in February compared to January. As restrictions lift and more people head back to the office and with an increase in business confidence, I am sure we will continue to see an upward trend in activity. A report out last week highlighted that the NSW economy is recovering faster than expected – that is good news for all of us.

The one concern I have is the impact of JobKeeper ending – this has been a real saviour to many businesses – hopefully, the economy will have picked up enough to allow the smooth exit of JobKeeper in March.

As mentioned, activity has picked up in February. There were some big moves this month – the CFO movements I found most interesting are the following:

Endeavour Group (the retail drinks and hotel business demerging from Woolworths) has landed Shane Gannon as their inaugural Group CFO. Shane is a great hire for the business and will be coming across from Mirvac. It was recently announced that the Endeavour Group separation from Woolworths will take place in June 2021.

• It was great to see Sue Houghton become CEO at QBE, Australia & Pacific. Sue has a strong finance background from the insurance sector, with experience from Arthur J Gallagher, Wesfarmers and IAG. She is also an ICAEW member.

Rachel Grimes has been named as the new CFO at Challenger – replacing long standing CFO – Andrew Tobin. Rachel is well-known in the finance community and has had a great career with Westpac.

David Marr moves from Woolworths where he was Chief Operating Officer to go back to his financial roots as CFO at Virgin Australia.

Cochlear have confirmed their new CFO, Stu Sayers. After being appointed interim CFO, he has now been confirmed in the permanent role.

Malcolm Ashcroft (ex CFO Healius) has landed a new role. Malcolm joins listed early childhood education provider G8 Education as COO.

• Following the resignation of Stephanie Graham as interim CFO at Freedom Foods, Josee Lemoine will assume the role of CFO effective immediately. Josee had been working with the finance team since November.

• After taking a break since leaving News Ltd Australia, Stacey Brown has re-joined the CFO family. Stacey has moved to Laser Clinics Australia as their new CFO.

• Anchorage owned investment, Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics, have a new CFO. Shane O’Neill has recently joined.

• There has been some musical chairs in the medicinal cannabis sector with CFO Charles Altshuler moving from Bod Australia to AusCann. Both businesses are ASX listed.

• Following the restructure at TAFE NSW, where Mark Easson was CFO, he has a new role as the newly appointed CFO at Healthdirect Australia (a government funded service providing quality health information and advice).

• Nick Fitzgerald has announced he is leaving Australian Hearing as CFO. Nick will join ASX listed Hubify as CFO. Hubify are a listed technology / telecommunication business.

Lorene Hunt takes over the CFO role at BAI Communications. Before joining BAI Communications, Lorene was Commercial Director at Optus.

Darren Holley has moved from gaming to racing by leaving Aristocrat to become the new CFO for full-service bookmaking business, Bluebet.

• Listed financial crimes compliance business, Identitii has appointed a new CFO. Trent Jerome joins Identitii this month, coming from Evolt where he was CFO and COO.

• Listed property management company, ALE Property Group have promoted Michael Clarke to Chief Financial Officer. Michael was previously ALE’s Finance Manager. Michael has been with ALE for over 14 years.

I have also moved, recently joining [axr] Recruitment & Search – a specialist in executive search, selection and contract recruitment. I have joined to build up their interim / contracting business and focus on interim CFO roles and their direct reports. If you know of any recent CFO ‘movers and shakers’ or need any assistance in this area, please get in touch [email protected]


Colin Kerr is a Principal Consultant – Contracting | [axr].

After graduating with a first-class honours degree in Accountancy from the University of Stirling, Colin began his career with PwC in their audit team in London and became a qualified Chartered Accountant. After a secondment to PwC Jakarta for three years, Colin moved to Sydney in 1997 and began his recruitment career with a leading international recruitment firm.

With over 24 years’ experience, Colin is a specialist interim and contracting recruiter within Accounting and Finance. If the role requires a qualified accountant – that is Colin’s area of expertise. He focuses on the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role and the 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.

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