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Australia Post names Woolworths exec as new CEO

Australia Post has appointed Paul Graham as its new CEO and managing director five months after former CEO Christina Holgate left her position, amid what’s now known as ‘the Cartier controversy’.

Graham, who will start in the role in September, joins Australia Post after a tenure at Woolworths Group as chief supply chain officer and an extensive career working in e-commerce. Before joining Woolworths he was Global COO and Europe CEO at DHL covering 65 countries and 170,000 staff.

He said he feels fortunate to be joining the group at a time when it can truly capitalise on the extraordinary growth in e-commerce experienced during the past year and continue developing the company’s retail and digital offerings while keeping letter deliveries strong.

“I am most looking forward to meeting the team across the country – the posties, Post Office workers, mail processors and delivery drivers that kept our country operating during Covid-19,” Graham said.

“I am also looking forward to getting out into regional Australia where Australia Post has an enormous presence, as well as meeting with the thousands of Post Office licensee partners who play a critical role every day serving the country.”

More reading: Company directors can’t serve two masters: what went wrong at AusPost

Graham will be receiving an annual total salary of $1.46 million and the potential to earn an equal amount in incentive payments, in accordance with the parameters set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal.

According to Australia Post chair Lucio Di Bartolomeo, the company undertook a thorough global search before choosing Graham to lead the business through the next phase of its transformation program. 

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

“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.”

Acting group CEO and CFO Rodney Boys will continue to lead the business through the CEO transition period until Graham commences on his role in September.

Holgate left the company in November last year without seeking any financial compensation after the controversial decision to hand out almost $20,000 worth of watches to senior management at Australia Post came under close media and government scrutiny.

Holgate has since accused the Prime Minister of bullying her out of the role, after his comments in parliament led to her ‘dismissal’.

Edit: This story previously suggested Christine Holgate resigned from her position at Australia Post, which is not accurate. The story has been updated to reflect this.

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