Revolving Doors – August 2022

What a start to the new financial year with unemployment falling to a 3.5% – the lowest it has been since August 1974.  The good news continued with a stunning victory by the Irish rugby team over New Zealand – making Ireland the number one ranked team in the world – how good is that….

The storm clouds of rising interest rates, rising inflation, the war in Ukraine and a poor Wallabies team continued but did not dampen the level of activity in CFO land, with an increase nationally of over 25% in the number of CFO moves compared to the same time in July 2021. For NSW this increase was close to 40%.

In response to my question last month about getting back into the office, the vast majority of CFO’s who responded were keen to increase days in the office – it was felt new staff miss out on “water cooler” conversations – training by osmosis.  There was certainly a view of “out of sight = out of mind”- especially when considering promotions or project work.  This view did change when the response was from a technology/software business. Their view was much more skewed towards working from home as the preferred location for work.  

CFO appointments – ASX Listed

ASX CFO Moves In

  • Clive Cuthell moves from Pets to Defence and returns to the ASX world as the new CFO at Electro Optic Systems – a defence, space and communications business.  Clive was previously CFO of Real Pet Foods. Onika Ndori, the current Financial Controller, will be the interim CFO until Clive joins in September.
  • There is a bit of musical chairs with Kerri Leech resigning from Waypoint REIT – (announced in April 2022) and going to Dexus as Head of Corporate Finance. Waypoint REIT have announced Aditya Asawa as their new CFO.  Aditya joins from Dexus and will start in Sept 2022.
  • Ashley Services Group have gone back to the future for their “new” CFO.  Paul Brittain returns to Ashley Services Group as CFO – Paul was previously CFO back in 2017.
  • Severine Yerriah has moved to James Hardie as Director of Finance, APAC. Severine was previously CFO Unilever ANZ.
  • Asset identification business Datadot has appointed Gordon Ogborne as the new CFO, COO and Co Sec. Gordon replaces David Mackenzie, who was appointed in Dec 2021.

CFO roles filled internally

  • Chris Roberts moves internally to become the new CFO at oOh!media. Chris takes over from outgoing CFO Sheila Lines who has a habit of creating a legacy behind her when she moves.
  • Michael Ford has resigned from News Corp Australia as CFO and will be transitioning his CFO role to internal candidate Michael Murphy.  (Michael Ford has worked with Michael Murphy previously at NAB and also at CBA).
  • There is some internal movement at listed Real estate investment trust SCA Property GroupMark Fleming moves from CFO to COO and Head of Funds Management. Greg Inkson who is currently Head of Corporate Finance, has been appointed CFO.
  • Greg Botham, the CFO at recently delisted Sydney Airports, moves internally into a Chief Commercial Officer role. Belinda Shaw, the deputy CFO, gets promoted internally into the interim CFO role.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

  • A search is underway for the new CFO at Market operator ASX following Gillian Larkins decision to leave the business at the end of August.

ASX CFO Moves – becoming CEO 

  • Geoff Stalley, the current CFO of Booktopia (online book retailer) has been appointed interim CEO. Fiona Levens the current Group Financial Controller steps into the interim CFO role.  

Interesting moves outside the ASX

  • Residential lending specialist Bluestone have engaged search firm Heidrick’s to find their new CFO following Iain Lyle’s resignation.  
  • The NFP sector has had another busy month with Iain Keddie moving from the CFO role at Mission Australia to become the new COO – Finance and Property at Uniting NSW.ACT.
  • Andrew Sharkey moves into the interim CFO role at Mission Australia.  Andrew was previously CFO at Better Rehab.
  • Having been interim CFO at Benevolent Society since December 2021, Stefan Duvenhage was confirmed as the full-time CFO going forward.
  • Leading coffee business – UCC Coffee (Robert Harris, Toby Estate, Mocopan) have a new CFO with Nick Anderson joining.
  • After 5 years with Venues NSW, Joe Achmar moves into the Group CFO role at SGCH (new name for St George Community Housing).
  • Alastair Miller moves from Accolade Wines to take over Joe’s role as CFO at Venues NSW. Venues NSW owns and operates the major stadiums in NSW, including the SCG, Accor and the soon-to-be-open new Allianz Stadium in Moore Park.
  • Edward Todd-Jones has landed his first CFO role, becoming the new CFO at Infraworks – service provider to infrastructure, maintenance and transport industries.
  • Jason Conroy is the new CFCO (Chief Finance and Commercial Officer) at Sydney Metro – Australia’s largest public transport infrastructure project.
  • Colonial First State has appointed a new CFO who is on a long notice period from his current employer.  In the meantime, Mark Jones has stepped into the interim role for a few months.
  • Australian-owned recycling company Re.Group have appointed Will Kidman as their new CFO.  Will joins from Enviropacifc where he was CFO and Co Sec.
  • David Rankovich is promoted internally at Enviropacfic to become their new CFO.
  • After 6.5 years with Danone, Damian McDermott has a new position of Finance Director ANZ at Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
  • Moving back from overseas, Brian Delaney, returns to Sydney to become the new CFO at Australian international hotel company – TFE Hotels (Vibe, Adina, Travelodge).
  • Adam McCall stays in the sector with his new role as CFO at Cranbrook Care – a provider of aged care and retirement living residences.
  • Following Anchorage Capital Partners acquisition last year of financial services software group GBST Holdings, Stacey Kelly has been appointed the new CFO.  Stacey’s most recent role was CFO of Mainstream Group.
  • After over 13 years with Coca-Cola Amatil, Ross Loader joins Accolade Wines as their newly appointed Finance Director ANZ.

Other CFO roles currently in the market:

  • Most of the companies mentioned last month have found their CFO – Colonial, oOh!media, Ashley Services Group, Datadot. Still outstanding are Standards Australia and Future Super.
  • Other roles I am aware of that are still live are Skip Capital, Opera Australia, Urbanise.

About the Author –

With over 25 years’ experience, Colin Kerr 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.