Wesfarmers appoints former Kiwi PM

Bill EFormer New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has joined Wesfarmers’ board to provide expertise on the conglomerate’s retail operations in Australia and across the Tasman.

English, a former National Party MP, retired from New Zealand’s parliament in March after being defeated at the polls by Labour’s Jacinda Arden, who formed a coalition with minor parties to secure a majority in late 2017.

Wesfarmers chairman Michael Chaney said English had an outstanding record of financial management and government policy development and would strengthen the board’s mix of skills, knowledge and experience.

“Bill guided the New Zealand economy through the global financial crisis to be one of the faster growing developed economises with sustainable government surpluses,” Chaney said.

“He initiated tax reforms, partial floats of four government companies and financing the rebuild of Christchurch after the 2010 earthquakes.”

English will be based out of Wellington.

Before his stint as PM English served as NZ’s Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister from 2008-16.

English said he was excited to contribute to Wesfarmers’ business.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Wesfarmers board to contribute to the board’s strategic oversight of the portfolio of businesses and its deliberations on opportunities to add shareholder value,” English said.

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