Fletcher Building Ltd will have a new chair & 4 new directors on 1 September. 2 directors will retire.
Sir Ralph Norris will step down as chair, replaced by Bruce Hassall (pictured at right), who was appointed as an independent director on 1 March 2017.
The 4 new directors, all independent, are Barbara Chapman, Robert McDonald, Doug McKay & Cathy Quinn. The company also intends to appoint an extra Australian director.
2 directors will retire – Alan Jackson by rotation at the annual meeting, after 9 years, and Cecilia Tarrant on 1 September, after 7 years, to allow an additional director to be appointed to the board as it oversees the implementation of the new Fletcher Building strategy.
Sir Ralph said the appointments would strengthen the board’s expertise & diversity.
Expertise is an important factor, because it was the lack of board expertise in the construction sector that was most notable in the collapse of the company’s vertical construction performance. The company is exiting that part of its business – 4 projects left to complete.
Sir Ralph said today: “While our original intention was to seek a director with construction experience, with our appointment [as chief executive] of Ross Taylor, who has considerable expertise in this area, our decision to exit the vertical construction sector and a new strategy in place, we believe the appointments we have made will best support the company’s new strategic direction.”
Mr Hassall has extensive experience across both public & private sectors. He was chief executive & senior partner at accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers NZ. He will relinquish his role as chair of the audit & risk committee.
The new directors:
Barbara Chapman, BCom: Ms Chapman retired after 7 years as managing director & chief executive of ASB Bank Ltd, and previously as group executive human resources & group services for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Barbara recently joined the boards of Genesis Energy Ltd & NZME Ltd as an independent director.
She began her career with the Commonwealth Bank Group in 1994 and has held senior executive roles responsible for marketing, communications, human resources, retail banking & executive leadership in New Zealand & Australia.
She has also chaired Oxfam NZ and been a director of Oxfam International, was an inaugural trustee of the NZ Equal Employment Opportunities Trust and chaired it for several years and is an inaugural member of the “25 Percent Group”, which aims to increase diversity at senior management levels & within New Zealand boardrooms.
Rob McDonald, BCom, FCA: Mr McDonald retired as Air NZ Ltd’s chief financial officer at the end of 2017 after 24 years with the airline. He was appointed group financial planning manager in 1993, group treasurer in 1995 and chief financial officer in 2004.
He’s an independent director of Contact Energy Ltd and will take over the chair there on 1 September. He’s a director of Chartered Accountants of Australia & NZ and will chair Fletcher Building’s audit & risk committee.
Doug McKay, BA, ONZM, CMinstD: Mr McKay was the first chief executive of the new Auckland Council in 2010, on a fixed term until 2012. Before that, he had an extensive background in leading large organisations in both New Zealand & Australia, including senior roles at Carter Holt Harvey Ltd, Lion Nathan Ltd & Goodman Fielder Ltd, and as chief executive at Sealord and chief executive & executive chairman of Independent Liquor (NZ) Ltd. He chairs the Bank of NZ & Eden Park Trust and is an independent director of
Genesis Energy Ltd, IAG NZ Ltd & the National Australia Bank.
Cathy Quinn, LLB, ONZM: Ms Quinn is a commercial & corporate lawyer. She leads the mergers & acquisitions and private equity teams and the China practice at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, and has chaired the firm for 8 years. She’s a director of Tourism Holdings Ltd and a board member of the NZ Treasury & the NZ China Council.
Progress pleases Norris
Commenting on the appointments, Sir Ralph Norris said: “When I announced that I would step down as chairman in February I committed to first completing the chief executive transition & board refresh I had commenced, and I am pleased with the progress that has been made.
“Our chief executive, Ross Taylor, is now firmly established in the role and has led the development of a focused strategy that aims to deliver long-term growth for shareholders. Our balance sheet has been strengthened following a successful capital raising, and the company is on track to deliver 2018 financial guidance.
“Bruce Hassall will bring strong & steady leadership as Fletcher Building’s new chairman, and will complete the board refresh with the appointment of an Australian director in the coming months.
“Our 4 new independent directors are high calibre individuals who bring a mix of commercial, operational & governance expertise, which will greatly enhance the experience & diversity of the board.
Attribution: Company release.