Gonski: the time is right

ANZ Chairman David Gonski has announced his retirement and succession by Paul O’Sullivan. In a letter to ANZ staff, Gonski reflects on his time leading the bank and the initiatives he was proud to support.

You can read the unedited letter below.

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Last night I advised my fellow directors of my decision to retire from ANZ’s Board later in the year.

My time at ANZ will come to an end at the finalisation of this year’s result on 28 October. At that point, I would have been a director for more than 11 years, originally serving between 2002 and 2007, and then returning as Chair in 2014.

" I am most proud of the way we have all worked together to rebuild the standing of ANZ within the broader community.”

I am delighted Paul O’Sullivan will succeed me as Chairman and he has my absolute confidence. Paul is an outstanding director who has already made a strong contribution to the Board and I look forward to working closely with him on a smooth transition.

I feel it’s the right time to hand over the reins to Paul. We have in place an experienced, diverse and talented management team as well as having made significant progress on our ambitions to simplify and improve our operations. Importantly, we have also taken steps to improve the governance around matters impacting our reputation, including the now well-established Ethics, Environment, Social & Governance Board committee.

Serving as ANZ’s Chairman will always remain a key highlight of my corporate career. This is not because of any false sense of prestige, rather the honour that comes with working with so many wonderful people who are doing all they can for our customers, our shareholders and their fellow staff members.  

One of the key roles of any Board and its Chairman is to ensure the right CEO and management team are in place to successfully lead the organisation. I’m very proud to have played a role in choosing Shayne Elliott to be our Chief Executive and to work with him to establish his talented leadership team. I know I am leaving ANZ in good shape under this strong leadership.

ANZ has achieved a great deal in recent years and directors past and present appreciate all your efforts. The work underway to transform our organisation has us well placed to navigate future challenges, particularly the impact of COVID-19 on our business and our customers.

However, when I reflect on my time here, I am most proud of the way we have all worked together to rebuild the standing of ANZ within the broader community.

This is not something the Board or management could have achieved on its own. It has been the individual efforts of all our people that has counted most and perhaps best exemplified by the way you have all stood up to support our customers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a personal note, I want to thank the dedicated team that specifically assisted the smooth running of the board during my time. This team has made the job of serving shareholders so much easier and I sincerely thank them all for their efforts over many years.

While my plan over the coming years is to remain active in both business and the community, I will be keenly monitoring ANZ’s progress and hope to stay in touch.

There will be time before I go to speak with many of you but I do want to personally thank each and every one of you for your contribution and incredibly dedicated service.

David Gonski AC is Outgoing Chairman, ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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