Chaney rated State’s best

WA Business News subscribers have voted on the State’s top business people. Mark Beyer reports.



SUBSCRIBERS to WA Business News have nominated Wesfarmers managing director Michael Chaney as the State’s top CEO.

Mr Chaney has been running the Wesfarmers conglomerate for the past decade and his disciplined management approach has played a big part in it becoming one of the top ‘blue chip’ companies on the Australian Stock Exchange.

He won national recognition last month, when he was named the Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Zurich business leader of the year.

Mr Chaney provides leadership in many areas, not just financial performance.

Wesfarmers is also recognised for its corporate governance standards and its corporate philanthropy, particularly for the arts community.

Foodland managing director Trevor Coates is another Perth-based executive who has built a prominent national profile.

Foodland is a major player in Australia and New Zealand in grocery wholesaling and in retailing.

Alinta managing director Bob Browning makes a trio of highly successful and, just as important, highly regarded chief executives of major Western Australian industrial companies.

He has lifted Alinta from a relatively dull utility type business to a significant national player in the energy market.

The resource sector has been fruitful territory for chief executives this year, with many thriving on the back of strong commodity prices after many years of hard work.

Success stories include Jubilee Mines’ Kerry Harmanis, who leads the ‘new’ crop of nickel miners, Tap Oil’s Paul Underwood and Arc Energy’s Eric Streitberg.

Other chief executives who attracted nominations from WA Business News subscribers included Michael Ivey, who has overseen the continued success of gold miner Croesus Mining, Kim Robinson, who guided the highly successful Kagara Zinc and Peter Lalor, who led Sons of Gwalia out of a very bleak year.

Building magnates John Roberts and Len Buckeridge had notable years, with Mr Roberts’ Multiplex listing on the Australian Stock exchange and Mr Buckeridge being named Master Entrepreneur of the Year in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

The category of best State manager attracted a range of nominations, including fund manager Colonial First State’s Steve Maccora and international airline Emirates’ Darren Tyrrell.

Among emerging companies, the chief executives attracting nominations included Hot Bods Creatures’ Susy Griffiths, who has won numerous awards for her innovative, therapeutic wheat-filled products.

Other nominees included regional carrier Maroomba Airlines’ Steven Young, Harvey Beef’s Gary Minton and Conbata’s Philip Nixon. Conbata, with offices in Perth and Dubai, provides international marketing services to Australian companies exporting to the Middle East.

The growing recognition of the social role of business is reflected in the large number of nominations for the category “best business leader in the community”.

The nominees range from people operating in the not-for-profit sector through to traditional business executives who have taken a leadership role in both the business and wider communities.

Nominees in the latter category include builder Dale Alcock of Dale Alcock Homes and Alinta chairman (and former Challenge Bank chief executive) Tony Howarth.

Other nominees include Dr Penny Flett, chief executive of aged care provider Brightwater, funeral home manager Mareena Purslowe and car dealer John Hughes.

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