Woolworths executive Paul Graham to replace Christine Holgate as Australia Post CEO


Former Australia Post chief executive officer Christine Holgate. Source: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito.

Australia Post has appointed current Woolworths executive Paul Graham to replace Christine Holgate as the next chief executive of the taxpayer-owned company.

The Australia Post board announced the appointment on Monday, saying Graham would start the role of chief executive and managing director in September.

Currently, Graham is the chief supply chain officer at Woolworths Group, where he has worked for five years. His prior experience includes two decades as chief executive of DHL’s Asia Pacific division.

Announcing the appointment this morning, Australia Post chair Lucio Di Bartolomeo said a global search was carried out before Graham was chosen to lead the business through its next phase.

“The board was impressed by Paul’s 40 years’ of deep industry experience working in supply chain in Australia, Europe and Asia,” Di Bartolomeo said.

“Paul has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations and is a proven leader managing large teams.”

Graham’s appointment comes after the previous chief executive, Christine Holgate, was forced to resign over an investigation into corporate spending.

Holgate left the postal service in November following her disclosure to a Senate estimates hearing that her office bought Cartier watches worth almost $20,000 for four executives.

The watches were a reward for employees who secured the $220 million Bank@Post deal, which would see Australia Post provide financial services to customers on behalf of NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank.

Since the Senate estimates hearing, corporate spending at Australia Post and the circumstances surrounding Holgate’s resignation have been contested in a Senate inquiry.

Last week, Holgate made a written submission to the inquiry that said she was bullied out of her job, rather than having willingly resigned. Tomorrow, Holgate will attend the Senate inquiry, where more detail about her dismissal is expected to surface.

The incoming chief executive of Australia Post said he was “fortunate” to be joining the postal service at a time when it is developing its retail and digital offerings.

“Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world,” Graham said in a statement.

“I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can truly capitalise on the extraordinary growth in e-commerce experienced in the past year and continue developing our retail and digital offerings while keeping letter deliveries strong.”

Graham’s remuneration has been set at $1,456,560 fixed annual total remuneration with the potential to earn incentive payments of up to $1,456,560, in line with Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal guidelines.

Australia Post acting chief executive and managing director Rodney Boys will continue to lead the business through the transition, until Graham starts in September.


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