Permanent Westpac CEO now official
(2 April 2020 - Australia) Westpac has announced the group’s interim CEO, Peter King, has been officially appointed to the role of CEO on a permanent basis following his predecessor Brian Hartzer’s resignation in late 2019.
Following his promotion from CFO to interim CEO, Mr King confirmed he will fill the position until 2022 to underpin managerial stability for the bank as it reels from multiple class actions and the devastating coronavirus induced economic shutdown.
“Across our organisation, we are working hard to ensure we remain open for business so we can continue to help customers with their financial situation” Westpac CEO Peter King commented.
“We must also look to the future for the best way for Westpac to meet the challenges ahead. We will need to be fast, agile and responsive to customer and community needs. My medium-term priorities remain to drive performance through our lines of business and sharper accountability, simplify the business through digital transformation, and lift our service culture and risk management capability” Mr King added.
The Westpac board and new CEO agreed that annual short term variable renumeration rewards for CEO and group executives would be suspended for 2020, in ‘recognition of collective accountability’ for the alleged financial crime outcomes in Westpac’s operations resulting in the AUSTRAC action.
“I believe we need a chief executive in place now, not later, and with full, rather than acting, authority. On my recommendation, the board has appointed Peter King as CEO. Peter has agreed to do this for two years. I have built a strong relationship with Peter since we first met. He understands the bank, its business and its finances, and has the confidence of the management team, as well as my own and that of the board” Westpac chairman John McFarlane stated.
“He and I are also completely aligned on what needs to be done. He is the right person to take the company forward at the present time, and now has the full authority to make change and to see it through. Westpac is preparing for challenging business conditions in the coming months” Mr McFarlane added.