Gladstone Ports Corporation’s board has announced a new CEO will be appointed and a new role of Chief Operating Officer will be created for acting CEO Craig Walker.
Gladstone Ports Corporation’s board has announced a new CEO will be appointed and a new role of Chief Operating Officer will be created for acting CEO Craig Walker.

GPC announces new CEO to be appointed

A management shake-up at Gladstone Ports Corporation will see a new $585,000 plus CEO at the helm to steer Northern Australia's most vital port towards a profitable future.

A new role of Chief Operating Officer has been created to retain the services of Craig Walker, who acted as CEO for more than two years, since Peter O'Sullivan was axed in a cloud of CCC controversy.

While acting as CEO, Craig Walker was paid $585,000 in 2019/2020, after a $131,000 pay rise from the previous year.

 

An internal memo sent to Gladstone Ports Corporation staff detailing the appointment of a new CEO.
An internal memo sent to Gladstone Ports Corporation staff detailing the appointment of a new CEO.

The Queensland Government remuneration handbook reveals Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is paid $399,955, while as a Minister, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher earns $327,705.

The management shake-up news was revealed via an internal Board of Directors memo titled "Senior Management Changes".

The memo details the board's search for a new CEO and Mr Walker's transition to his "new role", which could cost taxpayers in excess of $400K.

"The Board of Directors for Gladstone Ports Corporation wish to advise that the board has made the decision to commence a new search for the position of Chief Executive Officer," the memo states.

"The decision has been made to position the business for further success and various market challenges including COVID-19.

"The former Acting Chief Executive Officer ACEO, Mr Craig Walker will return to the new role of Chief Operating Officer COO as of 12 April and will continue to support the Board to ensure stability for GPC and a smooth transition for the business.

"The Board thanks Mr Walker for his achievements while in the role as ACEO.

"The Board will be providing further advice regarding their decision to appoint an interim Chief Executive Officer and this will be announced in the near future."

Mr Walker's achievements include overseeing the completion and launch of East Shores and the new Gladstone Maritime Museum.

A leaner executive wages budget in 2019-20 of $1.97 million, down from the previous year's figure of $2.701m, could be used to "accommodate" renumeration for Mr Walker's new COO role.

 

Gladstone Ports Corporation acting Chief Executive Craig Walker addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Mr Walker commenced the new role of Chief Operations Officer on April 12. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone Ports Corporation acting Chief Executive Craig Walker addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Mr Walker commenced the new role of Chief Operations Officer on April 12. Picture: Rodney Stevens

With total assets of more than $2.4 billion, GPC achieved a before tax turnover of $513.1 million last year.

The announcement followed the revelation questions were asked of the Palaszczuk government last month about the appointment of a new GPC CEO and whether it had been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The Queensland Government Owned Corporations Act 1993 legislation governs the appointment of executives.

Recruiting a new CEO is tasked to the GPC Board, which is officially appointed by Shareholding Ministers.

The GPC board consists of Chair Peter Corones, Grant Cassidy, Peter Jamieson, Adrienne Ward, and appointed in October 2020 were Dr Prins Ralston, Paul Heagney and Dr Poya John Sobhanian.

 

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