Encounters with public company directors

January 22, 2011

This list tracks our private engagement with various public company directors over the years.

Rick Allert: long time chairman of AXA Asia Pacific and the former chairman of Coles Myer. Also chaired the old SA Brewing which then became Southcorp. First encountered at press briefing in 1992 and had several discussions after Axa AGMs over the years, plus engaged heavily at the infamous 2002 Coles Myer AGM when Solly Lew was booted off the board.

Peter Barnes: former boss of Philip Morris in Australia who chairs Ansell, serves on the News Corp board and has also just assumed the chair at Metcash. Have seen him at News Corp AGMs but no communication.

Malcolm Broomhead: the non-executive chairman of Asciano Group and a recent appointee to the BHP-Billiton board, he was the CEO of Orica from 2001-2005 and ran North until it was taken over by Rio Tinto in 2000. Also sits on the board of Coates Group. Interviewed him when at The Age in late 1992 and had another chat after the 2000 North AGM and the 2010 Asciano AGM.

Michael Chaney: the much-admired long-serving Wesfarmers CEO quit after 10 years as a BHP director but has now settled in as chairman of Woodside Petroleum and NAB. Crossed swords at NAB AGMs in Adelaide and Brisbane but no private contact.

Colin Carter: regarded as one of the gurus on executive pay and board functioning who has served on boards such as Origin, Wesfarmers and Seek. Chatted to him a couple of times after AGMs.

David Clarke: was previously chairman of Australian Vintage, Goodman Group and Goodman Fielder. However, is best regarded as long-serving executive chairman of Macquarie Bank from its formation in 1985 until 2007 when he ceased executive duties but remained as non-executive chairman. Regular contact at various Macquarie AGMs and also enountered him once when he chaired a Goodman Fielder AGM.

Leigh Clifford: spent 7 years as CEO of Rio Tinto and then in 2007 moved across to chair Qantas after the failed private equity takeover. Only attended one Rio AGM in Melbourne when he was CEO and also asked questions at the 2008 Qantas in Melbourne when he was the incoming Qantas chair.

Peter Coates: the former Xstrata Coal CEO and Xstrata Australia non-executive chairman who now chairs Santos and Minara Resources, which is controlled by his old Swiss bosses. Also a director of Amalgamated Holdings since 2009. Had some email and telephone contact in 2010-11 after Santos failed to produce an SPP after a $500m institutional placement.

Chris Corrigan: former BT heavyweight and Patrick CEO is now a director of Crown and Consolidated Media Holdings. Had a one on one media interview with him in Sydney in the mid-1990s and then got him to answer some James Packer questions at the 2009 Crown AGM in Melbourne.

Laurie Cox: the former ASX chairman is winding down his gigs these days after retiring as Transurban chairman and from the Macquarie Group board but the highly regarded operator remains a director of Onesteel and chairman of SMS Technology. Interviewed the then ASX chairman when working for The Age in 1992 and then had numerous encounters at Macquarie, Smorgon, SMS and Transurban AGMs over the years, along with a couple of chats at RACV Presidents dinners.

Rob Ferguson: the former BT CEO has taken on a big workload recently as chairman of litigation funder IMF, Primary Healthcare and GPT. Have spoken to him 3 or 4 times after IMF and GPT meetings.

David Gonski: a non-executive chairman of ASX Ltd, is also the non-executive chairman of Coca Cola Amatil and a director of Westfield for more than 15 years. Sat on a round table with him in 2006 investigating AGM reform. First engaged when asked questions at a Hoyts AGM in 1998 and had a private meeting with him in 2009 plus some email exchanges and a phone call over ASX matters.

Wayne Goss: has chaired Ausenco since it floated and also sat on other smaller concerns such as Peplin and FTR Holdings. No contact besides dining with then Victorian Treasurer Alan Stockdale and seeing the then Queensland Premier on the next table at the Canberra restaurant after a COAG meeting in 1993.

Nick Greiner: chairman of Bradken and deputy chairman of Stockland Property Group in a much reduced workload compared to past efforts. Asked some questions at the famous Yannon press conference he fronted defending Solly Lew in 1995. Also quizzed him at the BATA takeover vote in 2002 but never had a private exchange.

Stephen Johns: the former Westfield CFO is chairman of Spark Infrastructure, a director of Leighton Holdings and is on the board at Brambles. Was impressed with his chairing at Spark in 2009 and we chatted after the meeting.

Mark Johnson: co-founder of Macquarie Bank who retired from the board in 2008. Also went on to chair Brambles, AGL and Macquarie Infrastructure Group. Bowed out of AGL after 2010 AGM after 22 years on board and 6 as chair. Attended plenty of Macquarie AGMs with but never took him on as a chairman and no private contact.

Ziggy Switkowski: former Telstra CEO who now sits on boards including Suncorp and Tabcorp where he has become an expert on remuneration issues. Chatted after the 2009 Tabcorp AGM and had plenty of AGM exchanges at Telstra.

Kevin McCann: former senior partner at Allens who is chairman of Origin and led Healthscope through its recent private equity takeover. Has been the lead independent director of Macquarie Group for many years and with Macquarie out of property trusts he has taken on the chair of the listed stable of ING property funds. Plenty of Macquarie AGM contact but no private engagement.

Paul McClintock: John Howard's former cabinet secretary did a great job as the lead independent director of Macquarie Infrastructure Group and also sits on the Perpetual board. First encountered when he chaired an Ashton Mining AGM in 2000 and no private encounters although saw him at 2007 Pereptual AGM.

John Morschel: former Lend Lease CEO and Westpac executive director who is now chairman of ANZ and was the chairman who brilliantly sold Rinker for almost $20 billion. Also formerly chaired CSR whilst served on Singtel, Leighton, Comalco and Pioneer. A real journeyman. Had a quick chat after the 2009 ANZ AGM when he assumed the chair.

David Mortimer: the former TNT CEO is chairman of Leighton Holdings, former chairman of GIO and a former director of Macquarie Infrastructure Group. First encountered at 1998 GIO AGM and then again at 2010 Leighton AGM but no private chats.

Geoff Ricketts: peers rate him highly for his performance as chair of Lion Nathan, a board he first joined in 1988. Also a director of Spotless and Suncorp. Never spoken to him or questioned him but would have attended Spotless, Promina and Lion Nathan meetings with him over the years.

The next 90 best male directors

This list is also alphabetical but will be ranked soon:

John Akehurst: dumped as CEO of Woodside Petroleum after seven years but did a good job as chairman of Alinta running the auction in 2007 and also serves on the CSL and Origin Energy boards. Former director of Oilsearch and Coogee Resources and his more recent stint on the Reserve Bank board has been tainted a touch by his position on its scandal-ridden 50% subsidiary Securency.

John Allpass: accountant turned former long-serving Macquarie Group director who still chairs Envestra and also previously served QIC and various other boards. Lost some skin as a BrisConnections director.

Don Argus: a former CEO of National Australia Bank and recently retired as chairman of BHP-Billiton and Brambles. Was on the board of Southcorp but resigned after the $1.5 billion Rosemont takeover went to pot. Also a long-serving director of AFIC, his last remaining public company gig.

John Astbury: former Lend Lease and NAB executive who now sits on the Woolworths board after earlier stints with IAG and AMP.

Paul Biancardi: former chairman of Coopers & Lybrand and PwC partner who is deputy chairman of Mirvac.

Dr Ian Blackburne: former Caltex CEO and now a director of CSR, Suncorp and Aristocrat. Formerly served on Symbion Health and Promina boards plus chairs O'Connell Street Associates, a network of professional directors in Sydney.

Harry Boon: the Tatt's chairman is a director at Paperlinx and Toll Holdings, and sits as an independent on the Hastie Group board. Made his name as CEO of Ansell after Pacific Dunlop was effectively broken up.

Trevor Bourne: the former Tenix and Brambles senior executive is chairman of Hastie Group and a director of Origin Energy and Caltex. Served on Coates Hire board from 2004-08 before selling beautifully to private equity at the top of the market.

Graham Bradley: he chairs the board at Boart Longyear, Stockland and HSBC Australia. The former CEO of Perpetual is also a director of Singapore Telecommunications, MBF Australia, Po Valley Energy and Proteome Systems. Profile rose in 2010 when he took over as President of the Business Council of Australia.

Gordon Cairns: the former Lion Nathan CEO has been a non-executive director of Origin Energy since 2007 and is on the board at Westpac.

Neil Chatfield: the former finance director of Toll Holdings is now chairman of Virgin Blue and a director of Seek, Transurban, Whitehaven Coal, and Grange Resources.

Reg Clairs: the former Woolworths CEO is a non-executive director of the Commonwealth Bank and sits as an independent on the David Jones board.

Greg Clark: independent director of ANZ since 2004, he is a former James Hardie director and is on the board of Eircom Holdings.

Paul Cooper: former Freehills partner who has sat on Axa Asia Pacific Holdings board since 1995 and took over the chair of the Centro twins after it almost collapsed. Has now quit Centro Retail whilst retaining leadership at Centro Property Group.

Roger Corbett: the former CEO of Woolworths is on the board of the Reserve Bank and since 2009 has been the chairman of Fairfax Media. Also deputy chair of PrimeAg Australia and a director of Wal-mart.

David Crawford: the former KPMG heavyweight has been chairman of Lend Lease since 2003 and chairman of Foster's since 2007. Also served on the BHP board since 1994 and spent several years as a Westpac director before doing ANZ's independent review into the Opes Prime fiasco. A pillar of the Melbourne establishment having attended Scotch College, Melbourne Uni and served as Treasurer of the Melbourne Cricket Club.

Geoff Dixon: the former CEO of Qantas is a non-executive director of CMH and Crown courtesy of his association with James Packer.

Rod Eddington: the former Cathay Pacific, Ansett and British Airways CEO is non-executive director of Rio Tinto and News Corp amongst several other gigs which have included an ill-fated spot on the Allco Finance Group board.

Bob Edgar: after 25 years at ANZ, culminating as deputy CEO, he turned professional director in 2009 and quickly joined the Transurban, Nufarm and Asciano boards becoming an instant heavyweight in Melbourne.

Patrick Elliott: investment banker who has chaired JB Hi Fi successfully since if floated.

Ted Evans: the former Federal Treasury Secretary has been Westpac chairman since 2007. Whilst a public servant he served on the Commonwealth Bank and Reserve Bank boards.

Bob Every:
the former Tubemakers CEO has been chairman of Wesfarmers since 2008 and is also chair of Boral.

Paul Fegan:
former St George Bank CEO who is now a director of AMP.

Mike Fitzpatrick: non-executive director of Rio Tinto and chairman of Treasury Group.

Tony Froggatt: the former Scottish & Newcastle CEO has returned to Australia as a director of Brambles, Billabong and Axa Asia Pacific Holdings.

Colin Galbraith: non-executive director of the Commonwealth Bank and Onesteel.

Ross Garnaut: chairman of Lihir Gold until the Newcrest takeover was bedded down.

Charles Goode: former chairman of ANZ and Woodside Petroleum but still chairs the Potter family's listed investment companies DUI and AUI.

John Green: the former Macquarie investment banker is a non-executive director of Worley Parsons and QBE Insurance.

Neil Hamilton: the chairman of Mount Gibson Iron and a director of Metcash, he joined the board Oz Minerals in February 2010 as endorsed chairman and also formerly served on the Iress and IAG boards.

Chris Harris: a former CEO of FH Faulding who is now chairman of Argo Investments and Adelaide Brighton.

Michael Hawker:
the CEO of IAG Australia from 2001-2008, he joined the board of Macquarie Group in March 2010.

Peter Hawkins: former senior executive at ANZ who is now on the board of Mirvac, Westpac, TCV and Visa Inc.

Peter Hay: the former Freehills CEO is a director of ANZ, GUD Holdings and Alumina.

Ray Horsburgh: the former Smorgon Steel CEO is chairman of Toll Holdings and a director of CSR.

Garry Hounsell: former Arthur Andersen partner who is a director of Qantas and Orica and chairman of Mitchell Communications until the British takeover in 2010.

Robert Johanson: chairman of Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.

James King: the former CUB CEO is a director of JB Hi Fi, Navitas and Pacific Brands.

Peter Kirby: the former CSR CEO is a non-executive director of Macquarie Group and Orica.

Dr David Klinger: did 38 years at Rio Tinto and is now chairman of the Rio-controlled uranium miner ERA along with Adelaide-based Codan Ltd, where he succeeded former CRA chairman John Uhrig.

Graham Kraehe: the former Pacifica and Southcorp CEO is chairman of Brambles and a former chairman of NAB. Also served on the News Corp board.

Martin Kriewaldt: regarded as one of the top Brisbane-based directors who sits on boards including Suncorp and Campbell Bros.

Ted Kunkel: the long-serving Foster's CEO has only taken on one public company gig as chairman of Billabong.

Richard Lee: former Rothschild Australia CEO who is chairman of Salmat, deputy chairman of Ridley and a director of CSR and Newcrest Mining.

Richard Longes: sits on the boards of Metcash, AustBrokers Holdings and Boral and is a former Lend Lease director.

Max Moore-Wilton: John Howard's former chief bureaucrat left for Macquarie where he chaired two of its listed funds, now known as MAP Group and Southern Cross Media.

Peter Mason: the former investment banker is chairman of AMP and joined the David Jones board in 2009.

James Mackenzie: the former financial services CEO is now chairman of Mirvac and Pacific Brands. Previously chaired both WorkCover and the TAC for the Bracks Government.

Lindsay Maxsted: well known KPMG insolvency partner who is now a director of Westpac and chairman of Transurban following the 2010 resignation of former ABC Learning chair David Ryan.

Ian Macfarlane: director of ANZ, sits on the board at Woolworths and is an independent on the board at Leighton holdings.

Allan McDonald: former chairman of Multiplex who has now returned at various Brookfield funds. Sits on Billabong board and previously sat on Brambles, ANZ and ALH boards.

Donald McGauchie: former Telstra chairman who is now the deputy chair at James Hardie and sits on the boards of Nufarm and Graincorp.

Dick Mcilwain
is the Melbourne-based Tatts CEO yet somehow also manages to chair two Brisbane-based companies, Supercheap Auto and Wotif.com.

Ron McNeilly: the former BHP Steel boss and main board director is deputy chairman of Bluescope Steel, chairman of Worley Parsons and a long-serving director of Alumina.

Don Mercer: the former ANZ CEO is chairman of Newcrest Mining and Orica.

Andrew Mohl: the former AMP CEO is a non-executive director of the Commonwealth Bank.

Wayne Osborn: the former Alcoa Australia CEO is now a non-executive director of Leighton Holdings and Wesfarmers.

Max Ould: former National Foods CEO who is the chairman at Goodman Fielder, a director of Foster's and on the board at AGL Energy.

Les Owen: the former Axa Asia Pacific Holdings CEO is a non-executive director of Computershare and Football Federation Australia.

John Pizzey: former global heavyweight at Alcoa and chairman of the London Metals Exchanges who is back in Melbourne as a non-executive director of Alumina and Amcor and deputy chair of Iluka Resources. Had the misfortune to chair car parts player Ion when it collapsed.

Dr Ian Pollard: chairman of Corporate Express, former chairman of Just Group and previously served on GIO, OPSM and Milton boards.

Timothy Poole: non-executive director of Newcrest Mining and former Asciano chairman.

Peter Polson: former funds management heavyweight who is now non-executive chairman of AWB and Challenger Financial Services.

Paul Rayner: former London-based CFO of tobacco giant BAT who is back in Australia serving on the Qantas and Boral boards.

Graham Reaney: non-executive director of Westpac is also the chair of PMP.

Chris Renwick: did 36 years at Rio Tinto culminating in running the Australian iron ore business and still chairs Rio-controlled Coal & Allied whilst also serving on the Downer EDI and Sims Group boards.

Peter Ritchie: the former McDonalds CEO is a former Westpac director and the extremely long-serving deputy chairman of the Seven Network.

Paul Rizzo: career banker then Telstra finance director and now a non-executive director of National Australia Bank.

Chris Roberts: Amcor chairman and board member of the Australian Agricultural Company who previously served as CEO of Arnotts and director of Telstra. Also served on global UBS board and chaired Email before it was taken over in 2001.

Trevor Rowe: investment banker who is departing ASX board in 2010 but still still chairs United Group and BrisConnections whilst also serving on the Future Fund board.

Kerry Roxburgh: chairman of the expanding Charter Hall stable of property funds and a director of Ramsay Health Care.

John Schubert: departing Commonwealth Bank chairman who is also a director of BHP Billiton and Qantas. Made his name as CEO of Esso Australia and then Pioneer International until it was sold to Hanson.

Brian Schwartz: director of Brambles and Westfield and the new chairman of Insurance Australia Group, replacing James Strong.

Peter Smedley: former Colonial and Mayne Nickless CEO who these days is chairman of Onesteel and Spotless.

John Story: embattled Suncorp chairman also chairs the board at Tabcorp and sits on the board of CSR.

James Strong:
is the out-going non-executive chairman of Insurance Australia Group, has chaired Woolworths since 2000 and sits on the board at Qantas whilst also chairing the recently floated Kathmandu. Quit at chair of the privately owned RipCurl in December 2008 after a seven year stint.

Jeremy Sutcliffe: did a good job running Sims Group and now sits on the CSR board.

John Thame: the former chair of St George Bank is chairman of Abacus Property Group and on the board of Reckon Ltd.

John Thorn: sits on an array of boards including Salmat, Amcor, Caltex and National Australia Bank.

Geoff Tomlinson: the former National Mutual CEO has sat on more than 10 public company boards but these days is more focused on Amcor and National Australia Bank.

David Turner: the former Brambles finance director is the new chairman of the Commonwealth Bank.

Leo Tutt: much-maligned for agreeing to sell MIM to Xstrata on the cheap but did a great chairing Promina and then selling to Suncorp at the top of the market.

Phil Twyman: former AMP executive who went on to bigger things in UK insurance market and then returned to join boards such as Perpetual and IAG.

Bob Watson: long serving director of Seek who took over as chairman after James Packer departed in 2009.

John Watson:
farmer who rose to be excellent chairman of Incitec Pivot and also serves Tassal whilst formerly served on Rural Press board.

Mel Ward:
former Telstra CEO, Axa, Coca Cola Amatil and WA News director who now chairs Promedicus whilst also serving on the Transfield Services boards.

Peter Warne: the former BT executive is a director of Macquarie Group and the ALE Property Group.

Peter Willcox: the former BHP Petroleum CEO was somewhat tainted by being a director of James Hardie but did a good job as AMP chair and also contributed well to the Telstra board.

Malcolm Williamson: non-executive director of National Australia Bank.

Here is a list of other prominent male directors not ranked in our top 100 blokes

Raymond Barro: is a director of the Barro Group and Adelaide Brighton.

Bill Bartlett: sits on the board of Abacus Property Group and is a director of Suncorp-Metway, and GWA. He is also a director of the Bradman Foundation and Museum.

Alec Brennan: former CSR CEO who now chairs Emeco and the PPI Group.

Ken Cowley: News Corp director since 1979 who turns 76 this year and should stand aside so the Sun King can appoint a second female to the board, joining the 30 year old opera singer Natalie Bancroft.

Doug Curlewis: former CEO of National Consolidated who currently sits on boards such as Nufarm, Sigma and GUD and previously served National Foods, Hilton Island, Gibson Chemical, IAMA and Pacifica.

Barry Cusack: the former senior Rio Tinto executive is a non-executive director of Toll Holdings, the former chairman of OZ Minerals and deputy chair at MacMahon Holdings.

Peter Day:
former Amcor finance director who now sits on Centro Retail, Ansell and SAI Global.

Ian Ferrier: chairman of Goodman Group and also the chair of Invocare.

Trevor Gerber: dreadful record at Valad Property Group, lead independent director of Macquarie Airports who championed the outrageous $345 million divorce payment to Macquarie and also chaired one of the dud Babcock vehicles. Should be off all public company boards yet Risk Metrics has apparently supported his re-election at next week's MAP AGM.

Jim Hall: the former Orica finance director is a non-executive director of Alesco Corp, is on the board on Centro and sits as an independent director of ConnectEast.

Les Hosking: sits on the boards of Adelaide Brighton, AGL Energy and Innovation Australia.

Brian Jamieson: the former KPMG partner is a non-executive director of Oz Minerals and Tatts Group.

Dr Peter Jonson: former director of research at the Reserve Bank and Norwich Union managing director who now serves on boards including Village Roadshow, ProMedicus and Bionomics as well as several unlisted bodies focused on science and research.

Geoff Kleeman: former Woolworths and PBL finance director who is now on the board of Asciano.

Charlie Lenegan: the former Rio Tinto executive is a newly appointed director of Oz Minerals.

Leon L'Huillier: the former chairman and CEO of the Transport Accident Commission has been a non-executive director of Woolworths since 1997.

Charles Macek: non-executive director of Wesfarmers and a former director of Telstra.

Peter Mansell: former chairman of WA News, outgoing director of Oz Minerals, is on the board of Bunnings Warehouse Property Trust and is somewhat tainted by his directorship of Great Southern Plantations.

John Marlay:
the former boss of Alumina is on the boards at Boral and Incitec Pivot.

Greg Martin: the former AGL CEO is a director of Santos and Energy Developments but blotted his copybook as a director of the failed JackGreen Ltd and the teetering Everest Financial Group.

Jerry Maycock:
a former CEO of both the Hastie Group and CSR, he is on the board of AGL Energy.

David Meiklejohn:
is a director of ANZ, is on the board of Coca Cola Amatil and is the chairman of Paperlinx.

Donald Morley: Hugh Morgan's long-time finance director at WMC is approaching 70 and has done a poor job as the over-paid chairman of post box company Alumina for the past eight years. Alumina, Toll Holdings, OZ Minerals, Newcrest and Orica and the five Melbourne-based companies in the top 50 without any female representation on the board.

Ken Moss: should be on the way out but is still hanging on as chairman of Boral and GPT and formally sat on NAB and Macquarie Capital boards.

Graeme Pettigrew:
is a director of Adelaide Brighton and is on the boards of some smaller materials companies.

Bruce Phillips:
on the board at AGL Energy as well as director of Platinum Capital and AWE.

Ron Pitcher: founder of Pitcher Partners who now chairs Cellestis and McMillan Shakespeare and is also a director of Reece Australia and National Can.

David Ryan: non-executive director of Lend Lease and Transurban chairman despite his appalling record at ABC Learning.

John Stocker: the former chairman of the CSIRO is chairman of the besieged Sigma and also a director of Telstra and Nufarm.

Murray Wells: has served for far too long on the Seven board and didn't exactly himself in glory during the recent $2 billion Westrac related party deal.

Roland Williams: a Brit who finished his executive career at Shell in Australia and never left. Blew up hundreds of millions as chairman of the failed Australian Magnesium Corp in 2003 but somehow survived in the club and still serves on Origin and Boral boards.

Frank Wolf: a co-founder of Abacus Property Group has been on the board since the beginning.