Welcome Guest, Register or Login
Home > Articles > General > General >

Tim Hornibrook : Has CBA found a successor for CEO Ian Narev in Rob Whitfield?

by timhornibrook on 9/4/2017 12:53:16 AM | Views: 217

Tim Hornibrook is a Business Leader based on Sydney, Australia and he provided over a decade of financial and agribusiness experience to an Australian-based conglomerate.

That puff of white smoke spotted at the Commonwealth Bank office on Monday morning may have been its embattled board signalling it's anointed a replacement for chief executive Ian Narev. 

With less than a year to go before Narev walks out the door and the upheaval likely to get worse - what with the APRA public inquiry and possible overseas probes into alleged money laundering lapses - the bank needs an outsider to take the reins.

It also needs an experienced banker. And it needs that person getting up to speed right now.

So the appointment of former Westpac veteran Rob Whitfield to the CBA board on Monday was as significant as Catherine Livingstone's appointment to the board last year.

Like Livingstone's appointment as a non-executive director just months ahead of her elevation to chairwoman, Whitfield - who was already being touted as a contender to replace Narev - is not there to make up the numbers.

Appointing a new CEO from a company's own boardroom is becoming a trend at major corporations, where selection of a CEO can make or break the reputations of all involved.

Suncorp's Ziggy Switkowski followed this rout when it came to hiring Michael Cameron as the new CEO in 2015. So did CBD publisher Fairfax Media with the appointment of Greg Hywood as CEO.

Whitfield left Westpac in 2015 for a two-year stint as the NSW Treasury Secretary, after missing out on the top job at Westpac following Gail Kelly's retirement.

His time spent dealing with politicians and bureaucrats will serve Whitfield well, but it is not the main reason he is on numerous shortlists for Narev's job.

Unlike many of Narev's direct reports, Whitfield is a career banker. He joined Westpac as a graduate in 1986.

And as his NSW Treasury bio points out, he is no slouch when it comes to those ticklish areas like risk management that have so befuddled the current team at CBA.

"He held a number of key roles for Westpac during his 30-year career including: chief risk officer, group executive risk and group treasurer," the NSW Treasury website says.

"He was also a key figure in developing risk functions and risk management strategies for Westpac, particularly through the global financial crisis."

Whitfield famously took a massive pay cut, to a base salary of $550,000, when poached by NSW Premier Mike Baird in 2015.

Whitfield's final pay packet at Westpac topped $4.8 million. The CEO job at CBA would return him to the big league.

source :

Tags: Tim Hornibrook

Author's Details

Sign In or Sign Up now to post comment!

About Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Help Pages | Contact Us | Members | Hosting Partner | Go Top
General Notice: If you find plagiarised (copied) contents on this page, please let us know the original source along with your correct email id for action.
Disclaimer: does not guarantee or warrant accuracy and reliability of data and information published on the site. More details here.

Online: 81 | Server time: 2/23/2018 9:04:09 AM

What's in your mind?