Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments

South Australia’s premier executive appointments column tracking the movements of those driving the state’s public and private sectors. Plus the latest executive recruitment opportunities.

Aug 08, 2022, updated Aug 08, 2022
Steven Clark has joined the Morphettville Racecourse as Executive Chef. Photo: supplied

Steven Clark has joined the Morphettville Racecourse as Executive Chef. Photo: supplied

Nick McBride

Nathan Wessling

New generation McBride takes the helm

Maverick Liberal MP Nick McBride has been appointed Chairman of his family’s 100-year-old pastoralist company, AJ & PA McBride, while long-time Chief Financial Officer Nathan Wessling has been appointed inaugural CEO.

McBride, a fifth-generation director, has been on the company’s board since 2006 and replaces the retiring Keith McBride as Chair.

Keith had spent 31 years with the company, including the last 16 as Chair.

Nick, who was elected to parliament as the Liberal MP for MacKillop in 2018, said it was an honour to lead the AJ & PA McBride board.

“There are headwinds for our business including the threat of Foot and Mouth Disease, rural labour shortages, rising input prices and interest rates, and global instability,” he said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, AJ & PA McBride is in a good position, and I am optimistic for the second century of our company.”

The company also last week announced the elevation of CFO Nathan Wessling to CEO, making him the first person to hold the position in the company’s 100-year-history.

Wessling has been with AJ & PA McBride for 20 years, first as Company Accountant before moving up to CFO in 2009.

Bruce Speirs

Richard Harris

Changes at Windmill

Windmill Theatre Chair Bruce Speirs is stepping aside after seven years leading the board.

Speirs, currently Chief Operating Officer at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, was first appointed to the Windmill Board in 2013 and elevated to Chair in 2015.

He is credited with helping the Light Square theatre group expand its national and international touring network to New Zealand, China, the UK and Ireland, and establish its TV and film production arm Windmill Pictures in 2017.

Windmill Executive Director Kaye Weeks touted Speirs as an “exceptional Chair who has substantially contributed to our company”.

“His passion for what we do is palpable and he’s had the perfect balance of entrepreneurial spirit and strong governance to chair the company during this pivotal period of growth,” she said.

“I’ve highly valued having Bruce at the end of the phone to chat through various challenges and successes and I thank him most sincerely for his time, perspective and encouragement.”

Speirs is set to leave the board in October and will be replaced by current board member Richard Harris.

Harris, a former CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation, is currently working as Executive Producer at Minderoo Pictures in Sydney.

He has also held senior roles with the Australian Directors Guild and Screen Australia.

Harris was first appointed to the Windmill board in February 2020.

Steven Clark

Serving up a new gig

Top Adelaide chef Steven Clark has joined Morphettville Racecourse as Executive Chef.

Awarded South Australian Chef of the Year in 2020, Clark has spent the last seven years with the National Wine Centre of Australia as Executive Sous Chef, Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Manager.

His résumé boasts an extensive list of kitchens across the UK, New Zealand and Adelaide.

This includes being 2nd Chef at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Executive Chef at the Glenelg Pier Hotel and Head Chef at SKYCITY Adelaide’s Café Junction.

Clark said he was attracted to being a part of the $500m Morphettville Racecourse redevelopment, which will include a new function and events centre.

“The culinary team here is amazing, and I’m looking forward to working with them to refresh the Morphettville offering and take it into the future,” he said in a statement.

Annette Fidge

Housing role for top EY consultant

Ernst and Young Partner Annette Fidge has joined the board of housing organisation Junction.

Fidge spent around 20 years with Deloitte and also ran her own business consulting firm before joining EY in 2016 as a Director with EY Consulting. She moved up to Partner in July 2018.

Her focus throughout her 25-year career has been on digital transformation, growth, organisational design and performance improvements, according to Junction.

“Annette’s strong capability around operating model design and process improvement will be very valuable, as part of the board and, for the organisation more broadly,” Junction Chair Rob DiMonte said in a statement.

Fidge also spent five years as Executive Director of Strategic Finance with the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.

She is a member of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants and an Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated, the peak advocacy body of grape and wine producers, is looking for a new Chief Executive Officer. The current incumbent will be retiring from the role later in 2022 creating an opportunity for a consummate and proven executive leader to take on this important position. Reporting to and working closely with the Chair and national Board, the appointee will take carriage of both the formulation and implementation of strategy for AGW. Strong exposure to the wine and grape industry will naturally be a definite advantage but applications are nonetheless welcomed from experienced professionals who can clearly demonstrate highly applicable experience. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified senior executives with demonstrated experience in advocating for and leading transformational industry policy, change and strategy.

Disability services organisation Can:Do Group is also on the hunt for a new Chief Executive Officer. The successful candidate will be an appropriately qualified senior executive with demonstrated capability to lead an organisation through ongoing reform, growth and increasing competition. Health or human services sector experience is an advantage but candidates with leadership experience from comparable domains and an authentic connection to the work of The Can:Do Group will also be seriously considered. Strategic thinking, contemporary leadership, strong financial acumen and highly developed communication and negotiation skills are essential, as is the warmth, empathy, integrity and credibility necessary to lead The Can:Do Group through its next phase of growth. An attractive executive remuneration package will be offered to secure a high calibre individual keen to lead this trusted and respected organisation making a genuine difference in the community.

Medical imaging provider Benson Radiology will soon be farewelling its Chief Executive Officer, Simon Boag, opening up a vacancy for an appropriately qualified and highly accomplished executive to replace him. Desirable qualities include a successful track record of leadership in a comparable business and an understanding of the dynamics of a privately owned professional services firm will be a distinct advantage. Amongst the higher level skills sought are innovative thinking, diplomacy, credibility, authenticity, proactivity, vision, strong influencing and advocacy capabilities, commercial and political acumen, and genuine leadership qualities. A highly attractive executive remuneration package with incentive components will be negotiated to secure a consummate professional capable of leading Benson Radiology, which has 53 radiologists, 26 clinics and around 700 staff across South Australia.

Nature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that invests in conserving, restoring and protecting South Australian landscapes, flora and fauna. The foundation is searching for a new Science and Conservation Program Manager. Accountable to the new CEO Alex Nankivell, responsibilities for this role include working with the Board, CEO, staff and Conservation Committee to develop and implement strategic programs that deliver significant nature conservation outcomes; working collaboratively with First Nations peoples in the implementation of plans that deliver strong cultural and natural resource management outcomes; and growing income streams for the organisation from grants, partnerships and fee-for-service models. The ability to form successful and sustainable partnerships with internal and external stakeholders will be vital for success in this position. Tertiary qualification in science, natural resources management, environmental management or similar is required. Post graduate studies will be well regarded

Ian Hogg

David Butorac

Board trio to save the Kingdom

Adelaide game developer Mighty Kingdom has appointed three media executives to its board in a bid to turn around the company’s finances.

The ASX-listed company, chaired by former ABC boss Michelle Guthrie, announced on Thursday the appointments of Ian Hogg, David Butorac and Melanie Fletcher as non-executive directors.

Hogg is the former CEO of Fremantle Media. He led the multinational television production company’s operations in Australia and Asia from 2008 to 2019.

The Sydney executive’s career has also seen him lead former sports marketing company World Sport Group in Singapore and start his own TV production firm, Theatre Red Pte Ltd.

He currently leads Sydney-based media start-up Global Advance StreamLined as Co-CEO.

Butorac, meanwhile, is the former Managing Director of regional Australian television network WIN Corporation.

A Curtin University graduate, he spent 14 years with Sky News in London from 1988 to 2002 in a number of senior roles, including Head of Operations and Station Manager.

He has also gone on to lead Middle East subscription television platform OSN as Chief Executive Officer.

Melanie Fletcher is the only new Mighty Kingdom board member to hail from Adelaide.

The Mercedes College graduate is currently CEO, North America of multinational production company Done+Dusted, which has offices in Los Angeles, London and Abu Dhabi.

Mighty Kingdom’s decision to bring on three new non-executive directors comes after the company revealed it had only $3.96m left in available funding at the end of last financial year – enough to sustain it for just over three months.

The company has undertaken a $7m capital raise – and flagged potential cost cutting – to address the shortfall and target a return to cashflow breakeven in the third quarter of this financial year.

“With deep management experience, it is expected the MK management team will benefit from these appointments throughout delivery of the restructure process including accountability against forecasts, strong commercial outcomes and developing and commercialising Original IP,” the company told the ASX on Thursday.

Mighty Kingdom also announced that Chief Operating Officer Tony Lawrence has resigned from the board but is staying on with senior management.

“Lawrence’s decision will allow him to dedicate his time to revenue generation to assist the Company in achieving its goals,” Mighty Kingdom said.

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