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 22, 2022, updated Oct 09, 2022
Long-time Mayne Pharma CEO Scott Richards is on the way out. Photo: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Long-time Mayne Pharma CEO Scott Richards is on the way out. Photo: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Scott Richards

Pharma boss says no to US move

Mayne Pharma CEO Scott Richards has chosen to retire after 10 years in the top job, following a company decision to permanently relocate his position to the United States.

The Salisbury South-based drug manufacturer, which has significant commercial interests in the US, told the ASX on Friday that it is searching for a new US-based CEO following a board decision to shift the position out of Australia permanently.

Richards, who has been in the US on a temporary basis for the last five years, could not commit to the move and “wants to return to Australia for personal reasons”, the company said.

“It has been an honour to serve as CEO of Mayne Pharma for the past ten years,” Richards said in a statement.

“I believe this is the right time for me to retire and I wish to thank all our employees for their hard work and passion.”

Appointed Mayne Pharma CEO in 2012, Richards has been in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 30 years – working in senior roles for global drug manufacturers Actavis and Faulding.

US-based Mayne Pharma Chair Frank Condella credited the outgoing CEO for his leadership during the pandemic and “navigating the competitive and complex US pharmaceutical market”.

The announcement comes only a week after Mayne Pharma sold off its US-based manufacturing arm Metrics Contract Services for $A679m.

Mayne Pharma’s complete FY22 results are due to be released on Friday, August 26.

Grant Osborne

Pickstar data boss tapped for gaming role

Mighty Kingdom has appointed Pickstar Chief Data Scientist Grant Osborne as its inaugural Chief Technology Officer.

Osborne held the same CTO role for a year with esports media company Gamurs before joining the Australian Institute for Machine Learning in 2019 as Principal Engineer.

He has spent the last year with guest speaker booking company Pickstar as Chief Data Scientist. He has also had stints in various software and research roles with BAE Systems, UniSA, iiNet and the Federal Government’s Defence Science and Technology Group.

Mighty Kingdom CEO Philip Mayes said it was the right time to bring a CTO on board.

“To have secured someone of Grant’s calibre is a huge coup,” he said in a statement.

“His depth of experience in managing high-performing teams in conjunction with his expertise, particularly in machine learning and AI, will ensure Mighty Kingdom is well placed to achieved to achieve our stragic growth.”

The appointment comes amid a restructure of Mighty Kingdom, with the game development company coming under significant financial pressure due to game delays and high staff costs.

The company earlier this month announced the appointment of three new board members from the media industry to get the ASX-listed firm back on track.

Barbara Watkins

Peter Coffey

Top Sydney Principal makes St Ignatius switch

Barbara Watkins, former CEO of the North Sydney Catholic Education Network, has been appointed Principal at Adelaide’s Saint Ignatius College on an interim basis.

She is set to replace the college’s retiring Principal, Peter Coffey, for the start of term 4 and stay in the role for the 2023 school year.

Coffey has been with St Ignatius for 28 years, including the last five as Principal.

Watkins was Principal of Sydney Catholic school Loreto Normanhurst from 2008 to 2018 after seven years Deputy Principal. She is credited with overseeing a growth in enrolments and staff during her time in charge.

Prior to her time at Loreto, she spent 11 years in teaching and management roles with Catholic boys school St Aloysius’ College in Kirribilli. She has also mentored principals in NSW as part of her leadership at the Catholic Education Network.

St Ignatius says Watkins will be a consultant for the school during her interim period at the helm.

“The College is delighted to have someone with Barbara’s extraordinary range of experiences, depth of knowledge and breadth of vision to guide us through the review of our strategic plan and in our transition to our new Principal in 2024,” St Ignatius Chair Sean Keenihan said.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

The Bend Motorsport Park is looking to appoint an inaugural Chief Executive Officer. Reporting directly to Managing Director Sam Shahin, this position will suit an appropriately qualified, ambitious, hardworking and driven executive who can demonstrate a successful track record of leadership in a comparably dynamic business. Amongst the higher-level leadership skills sought are resilience, commercial and political acumen, innovative thinking, diplomacy, credibility and strong influencing and advocacy capabilities. Supreme verbal and written skills are also critical. The successful candidate will lead a staff of around 40 and will be responsible for maintaining and enhancing relationships with stakeholders.

A General Manager vacancy has opened up at The Motor Trade Association SA/NT, the state’s automotive industry peak body, following the organisation’s decision to promote existing General Manager Darrell Jacobs to CEO.  The role provides the strategic leadership of the RTO including all aspects of corporate planning, operations, scheduling, compliance, customer experience and systems. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified professionals with experience managing comparable senior and diverse portfolios. While advantageous, experience in training and apprenticeship fields is not considered a pre-requisite. The primary selection criteria is general management qualities.

Autism SA is on the hunt for a new Executive Manager, Corporate Services. This key position in the executive leadership team will suit a qualified professional with proven finance and corporate services experience, ideally within a comparably client focussed human or professional services environment. Key areas of responsibility include financial statutory reporting and compliance, tax, audit and management reporting; budgetary planning, longer-term forecasting and cost management; and engagement with the Board around trends, changes in the operating model and financial and operational delivery. Expressions of interest are sought from proactive, contemporary professionals who can demonstrate commercial and technological acumen, inclusive leadership and effective communications and interpersonal skills.

South Australia’s leading Caterpillar dealer Cavpower is looking to appoint a new Marketing Manager to develop, execute and assess the SA family company’s online marketing and engagement strategy. Reporting directly to the GM Sales and Marketing and leading a small team, the successful candidate will be the brand custodian and partner with the leadership group to develop and implement marketing initiatives focused on the promotion and growth of dealership operations including, new equipment, parts and service sales. Strong project management skills with the ability to prioritise, meet deadlines and formulate clear and effective solutions are highly regarded.

Dr Catherine Earl

Long-time SACOSS Director moves on Greens role

The South Australian Council of Social Service is on the hunt for a new Director of Policy and Advocacy after Dr Catherine Earl was appointed Chief of Staff in Greens Senator Barbara Pocock’s office.

The federal politics move marks the end of nearly 12 years with SACOSS for Earl, a former Youth Social Worker and UniSA Research Assistant.

A University of Adelaide graduate, Earl gained an Honours Degree in Social Work from Flinders University in 2005 before going on to gain a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of South Australia.

Pocock was elected to the Federal Senate in May after the Greens got 11.95 per cent of the state-wide vote.

Ben Hodge

Amy Smith

Duo secured at Secure

South Australian cybersecurity start-up Secure State has appointed senior K-TIG manager Ben Hodge as Chief Executive Officer, and business owner Amy Smith as Chief Marketing Officer.

Hodge is currently working at South Australian hi-tech welding company K-TIG as Manager of Defence Business Development.

He has also spent time in senior business development roles with tech manufacturers APC Technology and DEFCON Technologies Group.

Smith, meanwhile, is a self-employed freelance hair stylist and Co-Founder of Aldgate-based salon The Chapel.

She also spent four years as a Personal Assistant at commercial law firm Cowell Clarke.

The duo joins the company’s founder and Chief Operating Officer Luke Smith as the first three directors of the new IT services group, ahead of a staff expansion later this year.

“We’re thrilled to have Ben join Secure State as someone who knows the defence industry very well and brings a vast network across the SA business community,” Smith said

“Amy also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ensure we can offer outstanding service and value to our growing list of clients who know how vitally important cybersecurity is for businesses of all types and scale.”

Alison Stanbridge

Mark Gellert

Trio step up at DMCA

Dulwich accounting firm DMCA Advisory has promoted three long-term employees to Associate Director.

The Fullarton Road firm last week announced Ricardo Neves, Alison Stanbridge and Mark Gellert would be making the step up while also becoming company shareholders.

Stanbridge has been with DMCA the longest, joining in 2007 after a seven-year stint as an Accountant with PKF in Adelaide.

In 2011, she moved to Grahame Raftery and Co for a three-year stint in Queensland before returning to DMCA in 2014 as a Senior Accountant.

Gellert joined DMCA in 2011 after stints with William Buck, Moore Stephens and Perks Integrated Business Services.

Neves came on board a year later following the merger of Adam Griffiths & Associates and DCMA in 2012.

The trio’s promotion follows the departure of DMCA Co-Director Adam Griffiths, who has now taken on a Director role with AGA Advisory.

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