Wesfarmers appoints experts to board

27/08/2009 - 12:33

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Wesfarmers today announced two new board appointments including Perth-based Diane Smith-Gander and retail expert Archie Norman, as well as changes to its corporate affairs team.

Wesfarmers today announced two new board appointments including Perth-based Diane Smith-Gander and retail expert Archie Norman, as well as changes to its corporate affairs team.

Archie Norman, an internationally renowned retail guru helping Coles at the management level since October 2007, will act as an advisor to the board on retail issues.

Wesfarmers chairman, Bob Every said the appointment of Mr Norman would give the board access to his extensive global retail expertise on a range of issues related to strategy development and the management of Wesfarmers' extensive reatil businesses.

Mr Norman previously led the transformation of the ailing Asda grocery chain business in the UK in the early 90s that saw sales increase by more than a third, an almost 50 per cent increase in customer visits and its profitable sale to Walmart in 1999.

Perth-based Diane Smith-Gander has been appointed as a director due to her 25-year business career including more than a decade as an executive with Westpac and more than five years as a senior practice expert and partner specialising in management consultancy for McKinsey & Company.

Earlier this month, Ms Smith-Gander was appointed to the Board of NBN Co Limited, the company established to deliver the National Broadband Network. Former Wesfarmers finance director Gene Tilbrook was appointed to the NBN board at the same time.

Ms Smith-Gander is also on the board of Basketball Australia.

And former Wesfarmers corporate affairs chief, Keith Kessell has returned to the post in what is believed to be a temporary basis following the resignation of executive general manager, corporate affairs, Mark Triffitt.

Wesfarmers managing director and chief executive, Richard Goyder said Mr Triffitt was leaving for personal reasons.

"I want to express my appreciation of Mark's work over the past very busy 14 months and to wish him well for the future," Mr Goyder said in a statement.

 

 

Full announcement below:

 

BOARD APPOINTMENTS
Wesfarmers today announced the appointment of Ms Diane Smith-Gander as a new director and Mr Archie Norman as an advisor to the Board on retail issues.
Ms Smith-Gander, who is Perth-based, has had extensive experience in financial services as an executive with Westpac Banking Corporation and in management consultancy as a Partner at McKinsey & Company.
Wesfarmers Chairman Dr Bob Every said Ms Smith-Gander had a range of highly developed skills which would be of great value to the Board and the company.
"A diversified company like Wesfarmers will benefit greatly from Diane's successful 25 year business career during which she has been involved at a senior level across a wide range of different business sectors," he said.
"Her 11 years as a banking executive included responsibility for information technology services and for change management and at McKinsey for seven years she had exposure to a wide variety of businesses in areas such as financial services, pharmaceuticals and retail.
"On behalf of the Board and shareholders I welcome Diane to Wesfarmers and look forward to her making a substantial contribution in the years ahead."
Dr Every said the appointment of Mr Norman would give the Board direct access to his extensive global retail expertise on a range of issues related to strategy development and the management of Wesfarmers' extensive retail businesses.
"Archie has been working with Wesfarmers and Coles at the management level since October 2007 and has had a major role in helping guide the turnaround of the former Coles Group businesses," he said.
"Following his transformation of the ailing Asda grocery chain business in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, Archie has established an international reputation for his retail expertise and experience and he will provide invaluable advice to the Wesfarmers Board."
Dr Every said Mr Norman's existing management consultancy would continue. In his new advisory role he would attend Board meetings on a regular basis, as well as the Board's annual retail planning conference, and advise the Chairman and the Board as required.

Background information:
Ms Diane Smith-Gander
Ms Smith-Gander was an executive with Westpac Banking Corporation from 1990 to 2000 and from September 2007 to September 2008. Her responsibilities over those years included strategy development, change implementation - with particular focus on information technology development - and management of the mergers of the branch networks of the Bank of Melbourne and Challenge Bank with Westpac.
As a Senior Practice Expert and Partner with McKinsey between 2000 and 2007, she conducted consulting assignments for organisations undergoing major change, often due to merger or through an acquisition. Ms Smith-Gander also worked with PA Consulting Group in Sydney and Hong Kong from 1984 prior to joining Westpac.
She is a member of the Board of Basketball Australia and a former Chair of the Australian Sports Drug Agency. Earlier this month, Ms Smith-Gander was appointed to the Board of NBN Co Limited, the company established to deliver the National Broadband Network.
She has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Sydney.
Mr Archie Norman
Mr Norman's business career began with Citibank in the mid-1970s. He became the youngest partner of McKinsey & Company in 1982 and later Group Finance Director of Woolworths/Kingfisher. In 1991 Mr Norman was appointed Chief Executive of Asda, then Britain's fourth biggest but almost bankrupt supermarket chain.
He led the transformation of Asda that saw sales increase by more than a third, an almost 50 per cent increase in customer visits and its profitable sale to Walmart in 1999.
Mr Norman was a member of the British parliament between 1997 and 2005. Today he is Chairman of Aurigo Management, Chairman of HSS - the market-leading United Kingdom equipment hire business which Aurigo acquired in June - and is a senior adviser to Lazard

Further information about Diane Smith-Gander

At McKinsey Ms Smith-Gander led the post merger management practice in North America. Her work involved counseling senior management on how to avoid the failure of their merger or acquisition after the deal had been announced. She often works as an integral part of the integration management office.
She authored McKinsey's Journey series guide on Tailoring Merger Integration. She is a regular speaker on post merger management topics and lectures to the full MBA program at INSEAD as part of the M&A course.

 

 

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