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Australia Post names Woolies exec as new CEO

Jessica Yun
·2-min read
Melbourne, Australia - December 7, 2014: Australia Post is the national supplier of postal services in Australia. This is the Australia Post sign hanging outside a street front store in Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia.
Australia Post has announced its next CEO. (Source: Getty)

Australia Post has appointed Woolworths’ chief supply chain officer Paul Graham as its next CEO, the postal service revealed today.

Graham will replace Christine Holgate, who was controversially ousted from her position after it was revealed that the business spent thousands on Cartier watches for executive staff members.

Holgate, who publicly said she had been "unlawfully" stood down, and Australia Post chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo, whom Holgate described as bullying her, will give evidence to a Senate inquiry tomorrow about her departure.

Graham, originally from Northern Ireland, will take the top job in September. Australia Post chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo described Graham as an “an outstanding candidate with strong logistics, digital and retail experience both here and overseas”.

Before Graham joined Woolworths in June 2016, he spent 20 years at DHL, where he held roles including global chief operations officer, Europe and Asia Pacific CEO, with his career spanning several continents.

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

“The Board was impressed by Paul’s 40 years’ of deep industry experience working in supply chain in Australia, Europe and Asia. We are also confident Paul’s community and customer philosophy is a perfect fit for Australia Post.”

Graham said Australia Post was one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world”.

Speaking about his appointment, he said: “I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can truly capitalise on the extraordinary growth in eCommerce experienced in the past year and continue developing our retail and digital offerings while keeping letter deliveries strong.”

He said he was looking forward to meeting the team around the country, as well as “getting out into regional Australia”.

Graham added that his background running Woolworths’ supply chain had taught him to put customers first.

The incoming CEO will earn a salary of $1,456,560, with the potential to earn bonuses of the same sum.

In the meantime, Rodney Boys will continue to act as CEO until Graham formally takes up the post in September.

Graham has served on the board of several companies as well as government and university-linked advisory boards.

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