Revolving Doors – February 2024

Welcome to our first ‘Revolving Doors’ for 2024. As we are still trying to make sense of the great man Colin Kerr’s tragic passing, we will honour our promise to continue the regular column in his unique brand and style and celebrate the appointments of Australia’s finance leadership community!

First up, a bit on the market. Lots of finance leaders bunkered down in December to close out the year and have either returned early in January to steer the ship around half-year / global year-end reporting or are now back and gearing up for a big year ahead.

The January recruitment market saw a lot of active roles picking up traction and making for a busy start to 2024. We have also seen more job seekers enter the market after time off over the holidays to reflect and have decided to start the new year afresh with a role, company, career change.   

Following a few years of unusual stability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate a more active CFO market in 2024. Businesses experienced varying impacts from the pandemic, with some booming and others facing significant challenges. Regardless of outcome, C-suite executives found themselves in unique positions: either enjoying increased profits and bonuses or navigating difficult circumstances beyond their control. This dynamic shifted in 2023, as accountability re-emerged as a key factor in the market, and we expect this trend to accelerate in 2024.

In CFO land we saw a hive of activity across December and January.  Of the moves that did happen, we have picked some interesting ones to highlight.

ASX CFO Moves In

  • BHP announced a raft of changes to their executive leadership team across their CTO, CCO and CFO. Vandita Pant has been appointed as their new CFO, effective 1 March 2024. Vandita is currently their CCO and has held senior leadership positions at the company since 2016.
  • Australia’s largest construction materials company Boral Limited have appointed Stefan Camphausen as their new CFO, replacing Belinda Shaw who has decided to step down in the best interests of her young family. Stefan will join Boral by July 2024, until which time Belinda will continue in the role.
  • Mark Howell, an executive at supermarket giant Coles Group, takes a punt by joining Tabcorp, taking over from interim CFO Damien Johnston. Mark brings a wealth of experience from retail and consumer sectors and is tasked with steering the company’s finances through a crucial period of transformation.
  • Cromwell Property Group, following a comprehensive search process, announced the promotion of Michelle Dance to the role of CFO effective 1 January 2024. Michelle’s deep understanding of the business and her capability across treasury and managing significant portfolios through several market cycles were flagged as key considerations. Supporting Michelle will be the seasoned Andrew Pallas, promoted to Deputy CFO.
  • Silk Logistics began a smooth transition plan with James Nicholias announced as their new CFO, taking over from outgoing CFO Brendon Pentland who leaves in March 2024.
  • Intelligent Monitoring Group Limited announced the appointment of Eason Ramanathan to the role of CFO effective December 2023, replacing Roy Kelly who will focus on long-term projects-based work at the company.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

  • KMD Brands are in the market for a new CFO, with Chris Kinraid’s resignation effective 8 December 2023. Ben Washington, Deputy CFO, is providing interim cover until then.

Interesting moves outside the ASX:

  • Synonymous with “burrito bowl”, Guzman y Gomez appointed Erik du Plessis as their new CFO from April 2024. The popular food chain has experienced management instability off late, and with ambitions to list at over $2 billion valuation, Erik is seen as an ideal fit to help GYG scale effectively, drawing from his commercial and strategic experience working at Kmart and Target. 
  • Digital infrastructure provider, Orro Group appointed Martin Uhrik as their new CFO amidst a leadership team shuffle that also saw new CEO and non-executive director appointments. With a hive of M&A activity at play, Martin’s expertise in this domain will be leant on.
  • Bupa APAC, announced Stuart Hooper as their new CFO starting March 2024. Consequently, Kelly Heintz will step down from her interim CFO position.
  • Cedar Mill Group Australia, famous for their amphitheatre-led entertainment complexes, are making noise by hiring Belinda Judd as their new CFO from January 2024. Belinda is no stranger to the entertainment industry, with 15 years of senior finance experience working in different creative environments.
  • Monash University, proud member of the Go8, have appointed Anna Tsikouris as its new CFO and Senior VP. Anna brings a wealth of global senior leadership experience, most recently as CFO at Australian National University (ANU).
  • Renee Duffy has moved to Chubb Fire & Security as CFO A/NZ.
  • Kim Chow has taken up the FD role with Kerry Ingredients and will no doubt do a stellar job.

Authors –

Greg Madden – One of the founders and an executive director of [axr]. He leads the Career Advisory and Transformation practice and specialises in Accounting, Finance and Business Transformation Recruitment. Greg is also one of the Program Directors for The [axr] CFO Incubator.

Greg O’Shea – Greg is a founder and executive director of [axr]. He leads the Accounting & Finance practice and specialises in CFO and Senior A&F roles. With over 30 years of recruitment experience, Greg is an expert in the Sydney market – known for his advisory capabilities as he delivers career outcomes aligned to business culture and vision to stand out from others in the market.

Kunal Gupta – Kunal comes with over 15 years of experience working in Finance & Accounting. Ex-Big 4, CA qualified with industry experience across Financial Control, FP&A and Commercial Finance. With senior leadership experience in large private, ASX listed and startup businesses, Kunal brings unique insight and capability to deliver excellence in F&A recruitment for our clients at [axr].