Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO dismissed

Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC) Board has made the decision to terminate Peter O’Sullivan’s tenure as CEO and will immediately start a merit-based search for GPC’s new leader.
In a statement regarding the CEO, the GPC revealed that Peter O’Sullivan was suspended on 13 December last year, on full pay, and has had no involvement with the day to day operations of the port since that time. The substantiated complaint related to Mr O’Sullivan’s role in a staff disciplinary matter.
Craig Walker continues to serve as the Acting Chief Executive Officer.
The GPC stated that as an active and significant contributor to the QLD and Gladstone community and economy, the focus of its employees remain on the running of a safe and busy port to ensure we deliver sustainable economic growth and social prosperity for our region.​

Disrupting the leadership trap – from MHD magazine

Simon Popley and Kim Winter

Leaders working in demanding roles tend to get little or no time to develop their own leadership ability. Focused on getting the job done and developing their own people, their own leadership growth often goes by the wayside. Australians work some of the longest working hours in the developed world, a study has found. About one in five Australians, or two million people, work more than 50 hours a week, the University of Sydney study shows, and many in the logistics and supply chain sector routinely work more than 60 hours a week.

“The lack of investment – of both time and money – is at odds with a plethora of evidence that indicates the magnitude of potential returns.”

Another trap that limits leadership development is under-investment in the area by corporations. Research by Australia’s leading human performance technology specialist DTS International found that more than one in five companies (21%) have no leadership programs at all, while 36% of organisations are yet to establish a leadership development strategy. Only 58% of organisations spend more than US$1,000 per learner on training for senior leaders, compared to just 39% for high potentials and 32% for mid-level management.
The lack of investment – of both time and money – is at odds with a plethora of evidence that indicates the magnitude of potential returns. For example, a recent report by the Human Capital Institute states that organisations that allot more than 31% of annual training and development budgets to leadership development are 12% more likely to report increased revenue.
Train to survive
However, under-investment in leadership development isn’t just a missed opportunity, it’s a major threat to a company’s long-term success. The fact of the matter is – when your leadership gets stale, so do results and the teams and leaders working with you. Everything becomes an effort and leadership feels like it’s sucking your will to live, rather than energising you and lifting up your people.
The fallout of neglecting your own leadership development is that you only have the same old skills, experiences and advice to hand down to your leaders and teams. It becomes a bit like leadership beans on toast, each and every night. After a while, the people to whom you serve your leadership learnings get bored and stop hearing the messages you want them to hear.
Your messaging is experienced as bland and your followers begin to feel that you have nothing new to offer or inspire them with. Preaching career development to them also invites hypocrisy that further diminishes your own leadership standing. This is demonstrated by the fact that only 7% of senior leadership in an international survey by Deloitte finds themselves capable of developing ‘millennial’ leaders, signalling an impending leadership vacuum.

“The most fruitful outcome is when your own leadership style becomes an example for others.”

Here are a few practical ideas to assist you in developing some new thinking and raise the energy to revive your leadership.
Tips for revitalising your leadership

  1. Set time aside to think about your current leadership – getting time to think about what changes you need and want to make is crucial. You may need to improve your ability to delegate work to be able to create this space to think: remember, thinking is working!
  2. Ask for feedback from your direct leader and other leaders in your business – what areas do they see in which you need to develop further? What is it they most notice about your leadership? Feedback is the fertile soil in which great leadership grows, without feedback we cannot grow. Feedback can also be hard to process and deal with if you are unfamiliar with getting feedback – think about working with a coach to navigate this journey.
  3. Discuss taking on new leadership challenges. Take on leading a new team or project. Get involved in a different work experience that takes you outside of your current comfort zone. If you are beginning to feel the slight discomfort of being outside of your familiar way of leading, you are probably beginning to grow – this is good pain!
  4. Read some latest thinking and research in leadership development. Read something about leadership you would not usually look at, and share this with another leader.
  5. Develop your ability to reflect on your own leadership experiences. Consider reflective journaling as a means to develop greater insight into your own leadership practice from viewing situations from multiple perspectives. Learn to become comfortable with the ambiguity that leading creates.
  6. Find and join a leadership community of practice – build your own leadership network. The CEO Institute in Australia also organises various networking events, such as the CEO Connect Conference and the CEO Institute Summit that feature top industry leaders. Chief Executive Women is specifically geared towards empowering women through leadership networks that aim to close the gender gap in senior leadership roles across Oceania.
  7. Attends events and conferences that are specifically geared towards leadership development, that offer the opportunity to learn directly and network with inspiring leaders in your field and beyond. A good example is the Annual Leadership Summits organised by the Australian Institute of Management across the country. Logistics Executive Group, an Australia-based international talent management and executive coaching firm, also organises year-round networking events, including a CEO Breakfast Series and the international LogiSYM Conference Series.
  8. Undertake some coach training to become a better-skilled coaching leader so that you are more effectively able to develop the potential of your own people.
  9. Find yourself a qualified and experienced coach and begin a conversation about how to grow and develop your leadership capability.

Regardless of your seniority level and the nature of your organisation, effective leadership is necessary for your success, as well as the success of your team and your stakeholders. Therefore you cannot afford to let your leadership style get stale. Yes, it takes some time and some sweat, some investment on your behalf as well as your organisation and perhaps even the odd tear or two, but the reward is well worth the effort.
The most fruitful outcome is when your own leadership style becomes an example for others. This stimulates a domino effect as your mentees, peers and even seniors attempt to emulate your strategy and foster creative, productive and effective leadership across the organisation. Be the change you wish to be, as Gandhi said. The power rests with you.
Simon Popley is senior partner, leadership and coaching, and Kim Winter is the global CEO of the Logistics Executive Group. The Logistics Executive Group is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of talent acquisition, development  and deploying bespoke leadership programs from their offices throughout Australia, Asia, India and Dubai. Contact Simon Popley at, or Kim Winter on +61 411 883 368, email

From MHD magazine: Leadership development

Simon Popley and Kim Winter

Year after year organisations invest large sums in an attempt to improve their leadership capability as a means to create organisational cultures that deliver for customers and shareholders. Whether the organisation operates within upstream or downstream, manufacturing, resources, operations, logistics or the wider supply chain, in the majority of cases, many of these leadership development interventions deliver none of the intended promised changes in performance.
In recent years, leadership development strategy and programs have begun to find traction in the resources sector and throughout the Australian supply chain industry, however, poorly designed, deployed and executed, the failure of leadership development programs can actually result in increased organisational cynicism and a further decline in employee engagement, as employees perceive management wasting money they have been asked to cut or save.
Leadership development begins to be perceived as a waste of time, where leaders are seen to indulge themselves in management ‘love-ins’ and ‘off-sites’ in stylish hotels. The leaders who attend leadership development programs that fail to deliver can also be left feeling helpless, as despite completion of such programs they are still unable to cope with the demands their leadership roles expect of them.
When the promised changes do not eventuate, and when employees do not experience the change in leadership behaviours promised, cynicism and resent are natural and predictable responses. If you want to understand how leadership development is viewed in your organisation, ask someone who is not privy to it. If the results of such programs are not visible here, it is likely they are not creating the change you seek.
New research from the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne, funded by the Australian Federal Government, on the state of Australian leadership, was published recently. The findings point to mediocre leadership capability being a systemic issue leading to poor business performance across Australian organisations. Many of these organisations are global brands. Without too much of a stretch of the imagination, it is likely the findings might be similar for organisations in other countries as approaches to leadership development, globally, are not that diverse.
Why do leadership development programs fail?
If an organisation were a garden and you were the gardener, to which plants would you give water and attention? The new shoots, the seedlings and smaller plants, or the mature trees? One of the key findings of this research points to a huge underinvestment in frontline leadership. For every $10 spent on senior leaders, only $1 is invested in developing frontline leadership. This has negative implications for creating a pipeline of future leadership and is impacting business performance.
Again, imagine you are the gardener, conditions are harsh, and you only have limited water and resources to spare. Do you pour it over the established trees? Or do you sprinkle it over your precious seedlings that have just broken through the soil? At the moment, from a leadership development perspective, we seem to be preoccupied with watering the trees, a strategy that has not delivered the required change. For organisations to flourish, it is clear we need to think differently about where investment is focused and how the development of leadership throughout the leadership lifecycle is approached.
Many businesses in Australia and NZ  tend to be very hierarchical, with most investment in the highest level of executive leadership. Treating leadership development as an elitist reward for making it to the senior ranks does nothing to move the organisation forward into a high-performing space, and focusing leadership development on so-called HIPO talent neglects the leadership experienced by the majority of employees in the organisation. Employees inherit failing, unsupported leaders, because the organisation does not consider them high-performing. This is a perfect recipe for low employee engagement, something we are all too familiar with. It is also a dereliction of a duty of care to those employees. Ineffective leadership fails to serve the legitimate aims of the organisation, and it also fails to recognise the potential and of individuals and teams.

“If an organisation were a garden and you were the gardener, to which plants would you give water and attention?”

Designed to fail?
The way leadership development programs are designed and structured is a key reason why they fail to deliver the desired change in leadership capability. Many development programs focus on what is termed horizontal development, that is, the acquisition of new skills and information. The premise being that leaders lack the required skills and information, therefore to become effective leaders they need to acquire new skills and information. This approach is actually leadership training and should not be confused with leadership development, though it does have its place. Leaders need to acquire new skills and information as thinking in the leadership space evolves. It is not this acquisition, however, of new information that builds inspiring leaders.
What fuels leadership development is exposure to real-work situations where a leader’s perspective taking capacity is challenged, and where, as a result of the experience, the environment creates in a leader an ability appreciate multiple differing perspectives simultaneously. That is to say, the leader is now able to sit comfortably with situations others might describe as paradoxical. The development experience may be described as the ‘heat’ in the experience: the leader is taken out of their comfort zone, where they are stretched into unfamiliar territory, where growth happens. Exposure to being mentally stretched in real-work situations provides leaders with the capacity to grow and develop; it is this realisation that cascades ongoing future development for many leaders. The knowledge that discomfort gives way to development and growth.
Many leadership development programs are designed without first undertaking an extensive diagnostic process that identifies the key issues within a system that limit the development of leadership talent. It is unlikely that a diagnostic process undertaken internally can deliver the required insight, the premise being that you can’t see the problem if you are already part of it. Internal politics and power relationships may also bias findings that identify unpopular issues requiring attention.
This is not to say that an external diagnostic is not subject to bias. The promise of an ongoing business relationship with a leadership development provider may be sufficient to taint the messaging the provider communicates to an organisation. The organisation is given what it wants to hear, rather than what it needs to hear. Perhaps the answer resides in a collaborative approach driven by a strong desire for authentic understanding?
Many third-party providers of leadership development programs are selling products and tools, or what some term leadership systems. The sale of these products or systems forms the basis of the intervention. It is not necessarily what the organisation needs. It is unlikely that a range of leadership products will meet the unique needs of the organisation in question. It is not to say that certain leadership development tools are not useful, they can be. It is just to say that alone, they are not the solution to all leadership woes – buyer beware.
We have all heard the adage “it takes a village to raise a child”. Well, it also takes a whole range of other people to help create amazing leaders. Leadership development programs need to involve stakeholders as an integral part of the developing a leader’s growth journey. Gaining feedback from these stakeholders on areas for development, and also progress against set goals, is a wonderful way to develop leaders and also a fantastic way to engage and build trust with key stakeholders. This is where being vulnerable builds capital in relationships.
Take your time
There is great pressure on leadership development practitioners throughout Australia & NZ to deliver changed leaders quickly, however, real change does not occur overnight. The industrialised world may have accelerated at light speed over the last 200 years, but human evolution moves at a much a slower pace. Human beings are slow to change, and change is hard for people to make. Leadership development programs need to be long enough to achieve the goals of development programs and embed new ways of leading. Leadership development programs that run over a few months have little chance of effecting sustained change.

“We have all heard the adage “it takes a village to raise a child”. Well, it also takes a whole range of other people to help create amazing leaders.”

There is also a need for support structures to be in place, such as coaching and mentoring programs to support leaders while they make sense of new ways of seeing the world, and embed those changes in the way they lead.
Support is a key element of success in development programs. For many leaders being experienced differently by others is a painful process, support to develop new ways of leading and these new ways of sense-making of the world is key to success. The structures created by the leadership development program need to be left in place once the program has ended to ensure leader growth continues – they should not be considered temporary structures.

Key elements of successful leadership development programs

  1. Ensure a thorough collaborative diagnostic process is undertaken by an external independent party, which creates a clear understanding of the systemic challenges facing developing leaders in your organisation.
  2. Focus the investment where it will have the greatest sustainable impact on your pipeline of leadership.
  3. Continually adapt your approach to leadership development, understand that any leadership development program needs to continually evolve. What might deliver success today may not deliver the same success tomorrow. Successful leadership development is contextual, always be aware of the context. Programs that adapt to changing conditions remain relevant and deliver results.
  4. Leadership development programs need to be designed around exposure to real work situations. Real work situations provide the context and real-world experience for developing leaders where development can be directly translated into their daily leadership roles.
  5. Successful programs provide differing ways for leaders to develop, depending on their individual needs and context. Not one-size-fits-all, the approach must be multifaceted.
  6. Involving stakeholders in the development of leaders is a key element to assist in generating insight and supporting change. It is also a great way to build relationships with stakeholders.
  7. Build and maintain support structures such as coaching and mentoring programs to support and embed new ways of making sense of situations and to help embed new approaches to leadership.
  8. Identify clearly the ROI the BU/organisation expects from the program(s), initiate related agreements, and hold all stakeholders accountable for the investment.

Simon Popley is senior partner, leadership and coaching, and Kim Winter is the global CEO of Logistics Executive Group. Logistics Executive Group is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of talent acquisition, development and deploying bespoke leadership programs from their offices throughout Australia, Asia, India and the Middle East. Contact Simon Popley at email, or Kim Winter on +61 411 883 368, email

New Executive Officer for RWTA

The Refrigerated Warehouse & Transport Association of Australia (RWTA) has announced the appointment of Marianne Kintzel as its new Executive Officer. Kintzel entered the role in early January, 2018.
Kintzel has experience across a number of industries, including transport, logistics, cold storage, warehousing and manufacturing.
She was chosen for the role due to her experience developing business partnerships nationally and in Queensland, where she is now based.

Linfox announces executive shake-up

Third-party logistics company Linfox has announced two major updates to its senior leadership team.
After over three years in the role of CEO, during which time the company exceeded its financial, new business and safety targets, Annette Carey has now joined the Linfox Logistics ANZ Board as a non-executive director.
“Annette joins the Board as Linfox continues its growth following recent acquisitions,” said Peter Fox, Executive Chairman, Linfox. “Her appointment reflects the value Annette brings to Linfox and the respect in which Annette is held by both Linfox and the industry.
“I thank her for her time as CEO and welcome her as a non-executive director to the Board.”
Mark Mazurek will take over Carey’s responsibilities as CEO of Linfox’s ANZ business on 1 February. Mazurek joined the company in 2006 and has held senior leadership positions across Linfox, including in the Intermodal and the Resources and Industrial business units.
“Mark has been central to the acquisition of Aurizon assets in Northern Queensland and the development of strategic facilities such as our new Darwin railhead,” added Fox. “Mark brings exceptional acumen along with new thinking and energy.”
Fox noted that the leadership changes reflect the company’s “continued renewal” to meet the needs of its customers. “Our industry is evolving and we are well positioned for future growth,” he said. “In the past 12 months, Linfox has renewed its leadership team, and we will continue to do this as the industry develops to ensure that we meet the needs of our customers.”

Mark Marurek, left, will replace Annette Carey, right, at CEO AUZ at Linfox, with Carey taking a position on the Linfox Logistics ANZ Board as a non-executive director.
Mark Mazurek, left, will replace Annette Carey, right, at CEO AUZ at Linfox, with Carey taking a position on the Linfox Logistics ANZ Board as a non-executive director.

Toll MD shares future leadership strategy

Speaking at ‘Developing the Millennial Generation: The Future of Leadership’, a breakfast event held in Melbourne this week, Michael Byrne, Managing Director of transportation and logistics company Toll Group, called for Australia’s senior leaders to rethink the way they approach millennials, training and future planning.
“We break up people into components and say they’re millennials, X Generation, that ethnicity, that religion,” said Byrne. “What I have learnt is – apart from a few outliers at the extremes – everyone is the same, and everyone wants the same things. We want a little bit better life than our parents, we want a little bit better life for our children, we want to eat a little bit better food, we want to drink a little bit better, we want a nice and safer life.”
Byrne noted that over the next decade, businesses will need to embrace and educate their young, “more technologically savvy” workers, as they will soon be at the helm.
“Millennials will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025 – eight years away,” he said. “If you’re not designing your workplace, product or service around that thinking, you’re failing your business.”
Addressing the senior industry leaders gathered in the room, Byrne advised them to stop focusing solely on priorities for tomorrow, next week and next month, and instead to consider the trajectory of the business over the coming years, and who will support its growth.
“In the next decade, the decisions will start to be made by millennials,” he said. “We need to get with the program and think about that and how we shape our businesses. They are going to have the money, they are going to have the votes, they are going to shape our communities.”
Byrne added that many businesses at present are failing to realise the importance of investing in education. “Education is really one of the most important things we do as leaders,” he said. “We need to be investing in our young people – you can’t afford not to educate, train and develop.
“Education and safety are the two budgets you never cut – in fact, every year you double down because otherwise the pace of the economy, the world economy and GDP will defeat you,” he said. “You can’t hold back the tide.”

Aurizon announces senior management restructure

Andrew Harding, Managing Director and CEO, Aurizon, has announced his senior management team to support a new organisational structure effective 1 July, 2017.
The proposed structure, first announced by Harding in March, will see Aurizon shift from a functional based model to a business unit model designed along the core areas of the business – Network, Coal, Bulk and Intermodal, as well as central support and planning functions.
“Over the past few months we have been working though the organisational design of the new structure and putting in place systems and processes to ensure a seamless transition on 1 July,” said Harding.
“We have collapsed management layers and removed roles from the broader management group.
“Ed McKeiver has been appointed as the Group Executive Coal. Ed is well known to our customers and staff having served in a number of senior roles across Aurizon over the past seven years including four years running Coal Service Delivery Operations.
“He has been heading up our current Customer and Strategy function and his substantive role is supporting our Coal customers so he is well placed to transition this part of our business.
“Clay McDonald has been appointed to the role of Group Executive Bulk. This includes our Diversified Bulk Freight and Iron Ore businesses. Clay has been with Aurizon for the past nine years and has served in several senior management roles, including as Vice President Network Commercial and Vice President Network Operations.
“I will also be taking the opportunity as we embed the business model to put a greater focus on regionalisation and putting our people closer to our operations and the customers we serve. This includes senior management and the Group Executive Coal role will be based in Mackay and the Group Executive Bulk role will be based in Perth.
“As announced earlier this month, Michael Riches has been appointed as the new Group Executive for Network. Michael is an experienced executive with extensive regulatory and legal experience in Australia.
“Andy Jakab will continue to lead our other business unit of Intermodal pending the outcome of our previously announced Freight Review.”
Harding said the current CFO, Pam Bains, would lead the Finance and Strategy team under the new structure, and the current head of Human Resources, Tina Thomas, would lead the new Corporate function consisting of Human Resources, Safety, Legal, Brand and Communications, Risk, Legal and Company Secretary.
He said current Aurizon executive Mike Carter had been appointed to lead the new business unit of Technical Services and Planning.
“Technical Services and Planning will provide key enterprise-wide specialised services to the other business units. This includes central stewardship of key company assets such as rollingstock fleet, real estate, information technology and operational technology,” Harding said.
Harding said the new business unit model would provide greater management accountability in each of Aurizon’s product lines while retaining the benefits of disciplined and efficient central support.
“We must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of our customers and the market. The new business unit structure will improve customer service and help drive down costs and improve efficiency,” Harding said.

Think differently

This interview first appeared in the February/March 2017 issue of Logistics & Materials Handling.
Global megatrends such as globalisation, urbanisation and digitisation are forcing Australian logistics businesses to commit to a new, much more comprehensive mindset.
In a move to renew the company’s focus on innovation and future growth, Linfox founded a stand-alone Development, Strategy and Innovation (DSI) business unit in late 2015. A year on, Logistics & Materials Handling spoke to Chris Hemstrom, head of the ambitious project, about the essence of innovation and the role of creativity in modern business.
Q: It’s been a little more than year now since you became head of Linfox’s new DSI unit. In a time where the term innovation is seemingly losing traction – the Prime Minister’s 2016 Innovation Initiative was deemed too elitist to be successful, for instance – how do you ensure people understand what you’re trying to achieve?
A: That’s an interesting question. To move away from that innovation buzzword, I’d like to think of DSI as an organisational development tool. Our goal is surprisingly simple: to make sure we are delivering value to our client base. Our strategy is therefore much more focused on understanding our customers, their requirements, and how we can best help them than on innovation per se or simply acquiring more business. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that Linfox has shrunk the number of customers we have by almost two-thirds since the GFC (Global Financial Crisis, ed.), while the business has grown quite substantially in terms of its scale. In focusing on fewer customers, we’ve been able to create more value for and grow with our existing ones.
Q: Surely that doesn’t mean you’re not open for new business?
A: No. All we do within the DSI team is look differently at the concept of business development. Part of the reason why DSI was formed was to help scan the market, help identify work with potential new customers and understand what it is they’re after, of course. But we don’t approach it in a transactional way where we create a new service and then try to sell it as much as possible. Rather, we try and understand where there might be a gap in the market, where there might be a problem that someone else hasn’t been able to solve but that we might be able to handle. We look at that both from the perspective of deploying our existing capabilities and services as well as building new capabilities.
Q: Can you give us a more concrete example of that process?
A: One area that we’ve done a lot of work in, for example, is developing and deploying efficient warehouse management systems. We have a long-standing relationship with SAP here, which has a very sophisticated core technology that has been developed over a long period of time. At Linfox, we’ve got special expertise in how to run warehouses and how to deploy their systems, so together with some external suppliers, we have created some very efficient routines, if you like, to make modern warehouses more efficient. In fact, in a first for Linfox, we’ve recently secured two contracts to provide SAP warehouse management system maintenance, support and rollout services to two customer sites – I think many 3PLs are not quite as engaged in the R&D side of things as we are.
Q: So it’s more about the way you approach a problem – a mindset issue, if you will?
A: Precisely. We’re using the design thinking process developed by the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) at the University of Potsdam, Germany, and Stanford University, or at least the methodology behind it. It was originally intended as an innovation method for products and services, but has advanced to a completely new way of seeing people in relation to work, of imagining the concept of work and of posing questions about how we want to live, learn and work in the 21st century. To translate it back to what we do, we’re basically saying ‘we want to understand how we can work at the leading edge of technology and bring new efficiencies into our businesses instead of just taking what we’re offered.
Q: That’s quite an academic approach for a privately owned logistics business. Do you sometimes think you are doing everyone else’s work?
A: No. We’re an early mover who is actively bringing promising technology companies into the transport space – that’s all. Without us bringing some of them into the market, they probably wouldn’t have arrived yet. I suppose when you’re a leading player, you need to go down that path to keep moving. If you lead and keep leading while everyone else is trying to get to where you were two years ago, you always have an edge. At the same time you help bring up the standards of the industry at large. I’m hoping we are, anyway.
Q: In that context, does the push of disruptors like Amazon or Uber in the logistics space worry you?
A: We do recognise that the world is changing very quickly. Every day now you’re reading about Amazon and how it’s going to take over the world, and you’re reading about Uber and how it’s going to take over part of the transport chain. What we’re saying is that that may be true, but we’re still in the game. We think we’ve got some different ideas that could add value. To get that across, we have quite an extensive program of talking to our customers and to prospective new customers – not in a sales-y sort of way, just to learn about their problems – which we call our discovery process. Again, it’s not a sales program. It’s a program of understanding how industry is changing. Quite often it’s us that instigate change by just asking the question. That’s probably why I am not all too worried about Uber at the moment.
Q: You are not standing still either, though. Linfox has recently launched a multi-million dollar partnership with Monash University to advance the transport industry’s innovation agenda and provide more education opportunities for the Linfox team. A result of the work DSI has done?
A: It’s been a team result of course, supported by DSI. The Monash University partnership is a critical part of a longer-term strategy for the business to make sure that there is a structured education program for everyone that works in the business, because we believe it will bring value to the customer at the end.
Q: So it’s not just a leadership program, to pick up on the elitist debate once again?
A: Absolutely not, no. Linfox College, our current internal education program, already touches everyone in the business, and our ambition is to expand on that. In fact, Linfox College allows family members to be educated as well as part of the program. There’s quite a substantial array of different courses for them. What we’re trying to do with Monash simply adds more pillars to the program, so we can enable people to go up from doing employment-based courses or single unit courses to Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees, or even PhDs where that’s relevant. But, at the same time, we also get access to the expertise within the university system, and Monash is, as you’re well aware, one of the top universities, not only in the country, but globally. Being able to get access to its research team and its ways of looking at the world will also help us in our innovation and R&D agenda.

Ex Toll boss Paul Little comments on Japan Post write-down

Paul Little, former boss at Toll Holdings, has spoken out on the news that the logistics firm has been given a $4.8 billion write-down by owner Japan Post.
Japan Post recently reported a ¥40 billion (A$480 million) loss for its first full financial year as a listed company, arising from a ¥400.3 billion ($4.8 billion) write-down on the Toll, which it bought in 2015.
Speaking with The Weekend Australian, Little commented that Toll’s legacy had been “trashed” and the company would need a major culture overhaul in order to remain relevant, adding that he was upset by the job cuts announced recently in the company’s new growth strategy.
“I left Toll the best part of five-and-a-half years ago and had no involvement in the acquisition by Japan Post,’’ said Little. “Since that has happened, a number of my quite close friends at senior management levels have lost their jobs. That has been right in my face. They were loyal and extremely well respected from an industry point of view.
The way they were removed from the company, it has happened so fast and without a lot of compassion. I find that personally quite upsetting.’’
The Australian reported that, under Little’s leadership, Toll’s market value reached a high of $8 billion and it had 50,000 employees. He also introduced an employee share scheme to allow staff to directly participate in the company’s growth.
In 2011, Little stepped down after an ambitious expansion in Asia resulted in write-offs and asset sales, he was then replaced by Brian Kruger who held the position until late 2016.
Little told the newspaper that the “can-do” culture he had known at Toll had morphed into one of “cost cutting and disposal of assets and shrinking the business.”
“Toll’s legacy has been trashed,” Little said. “It has gone from being a strong, proud and aggressive group to one that is being forced to undergo major surgery with retrenchments and a major restructure.
“And I believe that is the result of its culture. The company needs to look closely at changing its culture because the only way it will survive after this restructure is with a strong growth program.
“Toll is not a yield play, Toll is a growth play. Logistics now is a global playground and you need to have global cross-border capability to survive.’’
Little reported that he approached Japan Post, offering to be involved with the company under Japanese management, but his offer was refused.
Through selling his approximately five-per-cent stake in the company following the Japan post takeover, Little benefitted to the tune of $340 million.
“There is not much I can do about the fact that Japan Post overpaid for the company and I had a reasonable shareholding,” he said, adding: “The Japanese need to empower the Australian management if they are going to turn Toll around into a successful corporation.’’

©2019 All Rights Reserved. MHD Magazine is a registered trademark of Prime Creative Media.