Wesfarmers MD passes the baton

Outlook remains positive.

Rob Scott has officially succeeded Richard Goyder as Wesfarmers group managing director and CEO at the company’s annual general meeting late last week. Anthony Gianotti has also succeeded Terry Bowen as group CFO.

Rob Scott said, “I feel very humbled and excited as I assume the position of Wesfarmers managing director. Following Richard Goyder means the leadership bar is set extremely high, as it has been throughout our history. I would like to thank Richard for his enormous contribution to Wesfarmers over so many years and for the guidance he has given me, especially in this year of transition.

“Overall, the Group remains positive in its outlook. We have some world-class businesses and extremely capable leaders. We also have businesses that are undergoing turnarounds where returns are not satisfactory. This is a great company with a great history. More importantly, there is an exciting time ahead of us.”

Commenting on his departure, Richard Goyder said, “Rob is an outstanding executive who I have every confidence will be a first class CEO of Wesfarmers. He has earned the role and deserves confidence and support. Thank you all for the support you have given me and the team, I know that will continue with Rob and his team.”

Wesfarmers new managing director and CEO, Rob Scott

Wesfarmers chairman, Michael Chaney said, “Richard Goyder has been an outstanding chief executive over his 12 year term in the role. Under his leadership as MD, the company’s value has increased from $15 billion to around $50 billion largely as a result of the transformative acquisition of the Coles Group in 2007. Richard has been an extraordinary leader at Wesfarmers and is greatly respected and admired in the Australian business community.

“The company has outperformed the general market over the past decade, in the face of the global financial crisis occurring soon after the major acquisition of the Coles Group is due in no small part to Richard’s personal values, his calm in the face of challenge, his focus on performance, and his ability to identify and attract great talent and to motivate them to strive for corporate success. Richard leaves with our sincere thanks and appreciation.”

Rob Scott started with Wesfarmers in Perth in 1993 before moving in 1996 into investment banking where he had various roles in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions in Australia and Asia. He re-joined Wesfarmers in business development in 2004 before being appointed managing director of the Wesfarmers Insurance division in 2007 and then finance director of Coles in February 2013.

He was appointed managing director financial services in October 2014 and then in August 2015, managing director of the new Wesfarmers Industrials division.

“Rob has a proven capability to deliver improved business performance and to lead change through building great teams around him. Importantly, he is deeply grounded in Wesfarmers’ culture and disciplined focus on sustainable shareholder returns,” Chaney said.

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