What happens to ousted CEOs

January 20, 2017

Australia's directors club is dominated by former CEOs as this list demonstrates but gaining entry always depends on the circumstances of your exit. Here is a list that tracks what happens to CEOs who were forced out in awkward circumstances.

Will Bailey: forced out as ANZ CEO in 1992 after taking an expensive cruise down the Nile with the likes of Lindsay Fox and Peter Bartels and only managed to hang onto his Coles Myer board seat courtesy of Solly Lew's support until he departed amid the Yannon scandals.

Peter Bartels:
left Foster's with a huge payout in 2002 and then landed the top job at Coles Myer until he was axed in 1996 and never emerged again on a major public company board, although he worked on Peter Costello's campaign committee and retained a gig on the Australian Sports Commission.

Paul Batchelor
: became chairman of small wine company, Cheviot Bridge after his less-than-glorious departure from AMP.

Phil Brass: following his time with Pacific Dunlop, he went to become chairman of Rothschild Australia and is heavily involved with The Globe International clothing company of which he was the financial adviser to 2001 float.

Frank Cicutto:
resigned as NAB CEO in 2003 after the foreign currency fiasco and apart from chairing the shemozzle known as Run Corp, hasn't landed any decent gigs.

Norb Cole: following his stint at Coca Cola Amatil he has moved back to the US and has become the lead Independent director of Papa John's International and an independent business consultant.

Frank Conroy: forced out by Kerry Packer as CEO of an imploding Westpac in 1992, he recovered nicely to sit on several boards such as Santos, plus rose to chair St George during his halcyon days, which included poaching Gail Kelly from CBA.

Tony D'Aloisio: ousted as ASX CEO with an $8 million payout after SFE Corp shareholders insisted that Robert Elstone run the whole show after the 2006 merger. Was chairman of ASIC just a few months later.

Dennis Eck: the former Coles Myer chief received more than $10 million upon leaving and went on to become the CEO of the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also was a director of Aristocrat where as a senior executive was rewarded with contracts approved by the board. This resulted in being rewarded for poor performance, something the investing public were unaware of.

Duncan Fischer: ousted as Tattersall's CEO after Unitab shareholders insisted that Dick McIlwain run the combined business after the 2006 merger. Yet to emerge anywhere else.

John Fletcher: quit as Brambles CEO after falling out with new chairman Don Argus, then was recruited off the golf course to run Coles Myer very badly for six years and is unlikely to re-emerge, especially given the $50 million me made at the retailing giant.

Michael Hawker: axed as CEO of IAG after four years so we'll see if he can land any prominent board seats anywhere.

David Higgins: Lend Lease initially prospered and then later ran off the rails during his seven year stint as CEO, but he stayed in London and in 2003 became CEO of English Partnership, the government's regeneration agency, after which he landed the top job at the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Gil Hoskins: since leaving his post at National mutual, he went on to become chairman of Sausage Software, joined the Boarse Data board, and became chairman of Challenger International picking up millions worth of options along the way.

Keith Lambert: sacked as Southcorp CEO in 2004 and yet to re-emerge anywhere.

Don Mercer: joined Orica in 1997 as a non-executive director following his retirement from the ANZ Bank where he was Group Managing Director and CEO. He also became a board member of APRA, the CSIRO and Chancellor of RMIT university.

Trevor O'Hoy: recently left the Fosters stable following a disastrous and expenisve takeover of Southcorp wines. Trying to capitalise on a multi-beverage strategy was a gamble that failed.

John Prescott: ousted from BHP after seven years as CEO in 1998 and since then has only landed the chairmanship at Queensland Rail, which he can handle from his Noosa retreat, along with a seat at Newmont Mining and the chair of the Federal Government's struggling submarine company ASC.

John Quinn: following his departure from Newcrest, he went on to the Perseverance Corp which he has also since left, following the difficulties the Victorian gold miner has got itself into developing the Fosterville underground gold operation.

Gary Rice:
sacked as Seven CEO by Kerry Stokes in 1998 and hasn't re-emerged anywhere after a career which included running all three commercial networks at different times.

Matthew Slatter: institutions led by John Sevior at Perpetual campaigned hard to get the Tabcorp CEO sacked and they succeeded in 2007, burying the Kiwi who is yet to emerge on any public company boards.

George Trumbull
: the former head of AMP walked away with a $14 million payout. He moved back to the US and was elected Chairman of the Board of NYMAGIC and its subsidiary insurance companies.

Phil Weickardt: the former Pacific Dunlop boss went on to become Orica's chief executive and then resigned presiding over the $2 billion reduction of shareholder's funds.