18/12/2013 - 05:46

CCI recruits Willmott as CEO

18/12/2013 - 05:46

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The state’s peak business group has hired a former chief of staff to premier Colin Barnett as its new chief executive. Deidre Willmott will succeed James Pearson as CCI chief executive.

The state’s peak business group has hired a former chief of staff to premier Colin Barnett as its new chief executive. Deidre Willmott will succeed James Pearson as CCI chief executive.

Ms Willmott is currently executive chairman at communications consultancy Cannings Purple, which has hired former minister Norman Moore as its new non-executive chairman.

She is expected to commence at CCI in March next year, one year after joining Cannings Purple.

Ms Willmott has been closely involved in government policy and lobbying roles for most of her career, including a stint as chief of staff to the premier between 2008 and 2009.

She was also an endorsed Liberal candidate for the seat of Cottesloe, but stepped down in 2008 after Mr Barnett reversed his retirement plans and won back the Liberal Party leadership.

Other recent roles include being state director of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and director external relations at iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group.

Ms Willmott spent two years at the CCI between 2006 and 2008 as executive director policy, after returning from Melbourne where she had worked on the Commonwealth Games.

Earlier in her career, Ms Willmott had been chief of staff to then premier Richard Court.

She will succeed Mr Pearson, who spent five-and-a-half years as chief executive at CI.

He recently commenced at Shell as head of its Australian communications and government relations team, based in Perth.

Cannings Purple has moved to plug the gap left by Ms Willmott’s departure by recruiting Mr Moore, who served in WA state politics for more than 30 years, including as Minister for Mines and Petroleum before his retirement from politics in May 2013.

Cannings Purple managing director Warrick Hazeldine said the company was pleased to be able to attract someone of the high calibre and regard as Mr Moore.

“Norman will bring an unrivalled level of knowledge and experience to the business - particularly in the resources and related industries.”

Mr Moore’s role at Cannings Purple will link him with his former principal policy adviser Bob Stevens.

Other roles taken recently by Mr More include joining the Perth office of law firm Minter Ellison as a senior legal consultant.

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