Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall has around three decades of media experience. Prior to becoming Director of Strategy and Innovation he was CEO of Business News for nearly three years. For most of his time at Business News he ran the content operations of the business and was integral to the implementation of all the company’s digital products – the twice daily email newsletters, weekly podcasts, deals database and BNiQ data warehouse and search engine. Mark's career has predominantly been in business media in Perth, with a foray to the financial centre of London. 

CMO joins decision makers as pandemic disrupts leaders' ranks

The C-suite just became bigger, with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing another key title into the top end of the corporate and government decision-making – chief medical officer – a role where Western Au

Hiring shift shows in CV checks

We are all getting used to having fresh data at our fingertips as we watch the pandemic unfold before our eyes and try to project today's numbers forward by a fortnight, working out the best- and wors

Will startups bloom?

Farmers typically await the autumnal rains before they sow their seeds, planting ahead of the gloom and cold of winter. If goes well, a crop will emerge and grow over the next few months until it is ready for harvest.

CME drives cooperative approach

Collaboration across the resources industry is one of the key changes Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA CEO Paul Everingham has witnessed as the sector has sought to overcome the challenges of COVID-19. Click through to see the video interview.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss market volatility, rescue packages for federal and state, WA's hard border, Minderoo, tenant-landlord dilemma, project news, and house prices.

Home work the clear winner

There are already some early signs of very clear winners and losers from the COVID-19 crisis, no matter how much we want to believe we are all in this together.

The shape of things to come relies on resources

I was involved in a private discussion group today where the question was asked whether we would experience a V-shaped or U-shaped recovery.

The soft side of capitalism has to be on display

This is a big moment for capitalism in democracies, especially Australia, which sits somewhere between the genuine version of the US and virtual socialism across big parts of Europe.

Perkins’ bid to #StopTheSpread

Canva chief executive Melanie Perkins spoke to Business News about the impact of COVID-19 on her business and the world.

Confronting challenges with an eye on the future

Flexibility and clarity are two attributes business leaders need in times of economic upheaval.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the market update, Nev Power, Premier's inner circle, leisure sector, retail, mining challenges, Woodside, and our special report on the pandemic impact on WA.

Foodie fights the viral downturn

Regulars at Rachael Torre’s cafe and convenience store Wholefood Circus would notice the differences as the hospitality entrepreneur adapts to the new environment, simultaneously seeking to save her business and “feed half of the Western suburbs".

Green-light governments to pull the lever

OPINION: Finding a balance in terms of market intervention and social restrictions will test governments across the country at this time of crisis.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the market overview in these dramatic times, government and industry policy responses, travel challenges, earning guidances, businesses taking on staff, Acciona and CPB Contractors going head to head, Cottesloe aged care and apartment project, and our special report on the ICT sector.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss market volatility and the coronavirus, stimulus package, Liza Harvey, private equity deals, our special report on Land Developers and Great for the State looks at how we can help those who are missing out on WA's good fortune.

The virus and an accidental tourist

OPINION: Clear, sensible thinking and strategising are essential, both on a personal level and in business, when responding to threats posed by the coronavirus.

Disruption challenge for tertiary education

The difficulties facing Australia’s tertiary education sector as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus demonstrate a great deal about the industry and how it is struggling to cope with change.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss $A slide, footy club financials, new tech index, iron ore profits, Iluka spinout, mineral sands, property recovery, and our special report on women in business.

Money not the only ROI

OPINION: A decades-long investment has provided little in the way of financial reward but offers lessons nonetheless.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss the China travel ban extension, Woodside project challenges, AirBNB regulations, Wright family feud, Roy Hill, Wayne Martin joins a WA innovator, the launch of our Great for the State second series, and our special report on ports and transport.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss coronavirus, South Perth and Subiaco developments, Indiana Teahouse, property report, retail failures, mining contracts, how to turn a $6 million punt into a $30 million debt, and our special report on Western Australia's most influential people.

Heat’s on for land management

OPINION: Australia’s natural environment requires us to return to more effective strategies to minimise fire risk.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss coronavirus and Brexit, new Chevron HQ, new office fund, WA’s biggest venture capital fund, discounted payment terms, workplace tragedies, City of Perth elections and our feature on Private Business.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Dan Wilkie discuss property data, Subiaco hotel, lithium, transport infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, mining listings, graphene, and our special report on risks to WA.

Mark my words podcast

In this podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss stockmarket highs, tourism buoyed, Scott Park Group, Jeanswest into administration, FMG's exploration tenement battle, and our special report on corporate finance.

Mimic success, not failure

OPINION: From its own experience, Business News can declare the state government’s Market Led Proposals policy is a let-down.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss market jitters, corporate Australia's response to the bushfires, waste-to-energy projects, LNG production, Pluto expansion, a new Perth hotel development, and our special report on the aged care industry.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss residential property recovery, Chris Ellison's house plan, biggest employers, St Hilda's management change, mid-tier growth stories, rail car manufacturing, person of the year, and our Great for the State feature on WA's cultural growth.

Keystart’s investment future

OPINION: The impact of helping people into the housing market is invaluable.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss economic data, housing stimulus, property prices, Garden City, new hotel developments, mining IPOs, Deborah Terry, accounting rankings and our special report on WA dynasties.

NBN passions about to speed up again

OPINION: More than a decade after it entered the national debate, the national broadband network is about to be completed in the format – fibre to the node – that the reigning federal government committed to when Tony Abbott was prime minister.


Mark Pownall's Picks

Recent reading

For the Aussie history buffs. Like a lot of things if you think polarised society, royals behaving badly or domestic terrorism are new things ... think again. Steve Harris is an accomplished journalist and media entrepreneur, so this a little different although his home town of Melbourne features prominently.

The Contiki story. It is a racy read with plenty of business tips from a backpacker who took his business global ... and pretty much lost the lot. The business journey is outlined in extraordinary detail. A must read for anyone who has travelled on the cheap to Europe.

Great management text if you are looking for someone to make sense of all the models and theories that sometimes attain cult status. Co-author is Perth-based Paul Culmsee.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, a great historic introduction to many of the Middle East's current issues. In fact, when you see what goes on there today, a lot of it is explained by this book

Another fascinating read was Peter Rees' book Bearing Witness about Australia's great WW1 war correspondent Charles Bean. I note there's a competing biography by Ross Coulthart which I haven't read yet.

Also worth reading was one I dragged out of my father's library. William L Shirer was a foreign correspondent based in Berlin in 1930s and, due to America's late entry into WW2, was there during the early part of that conflict. His book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is half way between and academic work and the modern histories we are used to which are more entertaining. His book is awesome in its documentation and given a human element by the number of eye witness accounts he provides.

I really enjoyed The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin which was not only about the US presidency at the start of the 20th century, but the unique role investigative journalism played in reform. It reviews the incredible reporting backed by gutsy publishers who serialised stories on concerning issues with both economic and social implications. These journalists also had unprecedented access to the presidency, especially the progressive Franklin Roosevelt. As the circulation-boosting power of this style of journalism rose, however, some went too far, making up stories and spitefully attacking political leaders - leading to the expression muckrakers. The tabloids of today have historical precedent!

Sir Bob's visit

Some of the VIPs who really did have lunch with Sir Bob.

Recent reading

Just got through this great book by Bob de la Motte, well known in Perth finance circles. Its about his life, growing up in South Africa and competing in the 90km Comrades Marathon.

Another book worth mentioning is Njinga by a good friend of mine Kate Leeming - she's also just released a film on her trans-African cycling trip and is preparing to turn it into a TV documenary series. Her next project is Antarctica.

Find it here:

Executive remuneration

Worth checking out our CEO/executive/director remuneration list here. There are thousands of WA names on it ... 59 pages of salaries if you are up for it.


Meanwhile, I am awaiting a copy of this (not a Christmas hint - review copy coming I am told) which I expect will help decipher much about the mysterious world of bitcoin. This has been co-authored by a friend of mine and former colleague Michael Casey who has been writing regular columns on bitcoin for the past year or more. I have passed on a few tidbits to him about activity in Australia, but I have no idea if that was useful.

My all-time favourite business and political books are here on my Facebook page.


Visionary medico wins 40under40

This year’s First Amongst Equals winner is a passionate medical specialist but he’s also a visionary entrepreneur who has a lot in common with successful business leaders.

Vale Geoff Rasmussen

Western Australian corporate leader Geoff Rasmussen passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Builton fails, administrator appointed

One of state’s biggest residential construction firms, Builton Group, has succumbed to the financial stresses engulfing the sector, appointing an external administrator earlier today after reports of the company’s financial troubles emerged last week.

Builton failure a costly housing hit

The collapse of yet another Western Australian residential builder appears set to further upset the delicate state of the sector, with financiers, insurers, 350 trade creditors and as many as 130 home owners facing losses.

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Swan back into pubs

THE Swan Brewery has embarked on an $8 million spending spree to renew its flagging status as the major WA beverage producer with a new strategy of investment in high profile licensed premises.

Bumper lobster season unlikely

WA’S lobster season opened yesterday, with fishermen preparing for a tougher season after the recent record haul in what is considered Australia’s most valuable fishery.

Oglivie moves on – leaves ASIC Gething

JAMIE Ogilvie has quit as the WA head the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, deciding not to seek the renewal of his contract as he looks for a role outside the corporate regulator.

Victoria Park heading for new heights

VICTORIA Park Council is increasingly featuring in the news regarding developments which were once rarely considered outside the CBD.