Revolving Doors – July 2022

The past couple of months has been very strong for CFO movements. With year-end and a few storm clouds in the economy (rising interest rates, rising inflation, and the continuing war in Ukraine), the market has paused for a breath. It has been a busy month, but the activity has dropped to similar levels to last year. 

Whilst there have been some redundancies, especially in the FinTech space, as these companies struggle to raise funds, I think the market will continue to be buoyant once the year-end process is behind us. Whilst there are a few storm clouds, the economy is robust and the lack of supply in the candidate market with the unemployment rate remaining below 4% will keep the market moving.

I think the next talking point will be how do you give yourself the best chance of being promoted when working in a hybrid working environment. The hybrid model appears to be here to stay, with few 100% work-in-the-office only situations and also few 100% work-from-home situations. However, given this hybrid model, how do you ensure you give yourself a chance for promotion if your colleagues are coming into the office more than you? I am interested in hearing your thoughts, and I will share this in my next update.

CFO appointments – ASX Listed

ASX CFO Moves In

•             It was announced in February that Elliott Rusanow, the CFO at Scentre Group, was moving into the CEO role. It has now been announced that Andrew Clake has been promoted internally to take over Elliott’s Group CFO role.

•             Financial technology company Identitii have appointed senior finance executive Catherine Lin as their new CFO. Catherine joined in mid-June, replacing outsourced CFO services firm Gram Accounting.  

•             There were some internal promotions at oil and gas company Horizon Oil. The current CFO, Richard Beament, moves into the CEO role; and the current Group Financial Controller, Kyle Keen, moves into the CFO role. Congratulations to both – not much fun for recruiters in this situation!

•             John O’Connor moves from recently taken over Youfoodz (now part of HelloFresh) to join listed timber and building products business Big River Industries.

•             Victor Cuthell moves back into the automotive space (he had been CFO of Inchcape Australia for 6 years back in 2015).  Victor will be joining Peter Warren Automotive as their new CFO in November 2022. Victor is replacing Bernard Friend who is retiring after 40 years with the group.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

•             Long-standing CFO of Integrated Research, Peter Adams, has resigned after 14 years with the business. Integrated Research sells computer systems management products.

•             Training and labour-hire business Ashley Services Group are in the market for a CFO following Chris McFadden’s resignation due to personal issues. Chris oversaw a rise in market cap from $8m to over $110m during his five years there. Ross Shrimpton has been appointed interim CFO.

ASX CFO Moves – Becoming CEO

•             BSA’s CFO Arno Becker has moved into the interim CEO role following Tim Harris’s move from CEO at BSA Limited to become CFCO (Chief Financial and Commercial Officer) at Australia Tower Network (ATN). ATN recently bought Axicom to become Australia’s largest operator of digital infrastructure.

•             Property software provider Urbanise has confirmed Simon Lee as their new CEO. Simon was the CFO and had been interim CEO since December 2021.  A search is underway for a new CFO.

Other CFO appointments

•             Following Jeremy Slade’s resignation from Dyson, they have promoted from within, with Melvin Tang moving from Head of Commercial Finance into the Finance Director role.  News of Jeremy’s new role will appear next month.

•             Unique travel business Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia (they manage the Red Centre and Mossman Gorge) have appointed James McMorron as CFO. James has moved from property and infrastructure specialists APP Corporation.

•             Vanessa De Bono has been appointed into the CFO role at APP Corporation, following James’ resignation.

•             Global beauty business Coty has promoted CFO Rajiv Chinniah into the MD ANZ role. Elena Zhelnina also gets promoted internally and moves into Rajiv’s CFO role.

•             Newly formed Australian Payments Plus (combining BPay, Eftpos, and NPP Australia) have their first CFO. Jennifer Brice has moved across from Origin Energy, where she was GFC.

 •            The NFP sector continues to be active. Abbas Alibhai is the newest CFO in the sector, joining disability service provider Northcott.

•             Judith MacGowan has moved from Cushman & Wakefield to become Regional CFO of medical technology business Enovis.   

•             Following a restructure at global fashion swimwear brand SeafollyChris Jacka moves back into the CFO space, having joined last year as Commercial Director.

•             SuperChoice has a new CFO. Pow Chuan Lee moves from InvertiGro to become their new CFO.

•             After 14 years with Activision Blizzard and a well-earned rest, Philip Winfry has popped up in a new role. Philip is the new CFO at luxury retailer Coco Republic.

•             Some changes within the sports community, NRL CFO Richard Gardham moves codes to join Rugby Australia as COO. NRL has appointed John Osborne as their new CFO.

•             Also, in the world of sports, Manuel Vlandis moves onto dry land to become Sydney FC’s new CFO. Manuel is moving from his CFO role at Australian Sailing.

•             Senior finance executive Simon Mikulandra has become CFO of Orbyt. Orbyt is an Australian fintech supporting SMEs on their growth journey. Simon is coming from Westpac, where he spent 25 years.  

•             Dave Williams who has a strong creative agency background has returned from Singapore and becomes BMF Australia’s CFO.

Other CFO roles currently in the market

•             Standards Australia – Peter Homan is currently the interim.

•             Datadot Technology – David Mackenzie is there until August.

•             Future Super – new CFO has been hired, waiting for confirmation on who got the role.  

•             Colonial First State – I hear they are looking for an interim person in the short term.  

•             oOh!Media are getting close to their new CFO; shortlist presented.

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.