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Gail Kelly resigns from Westpac

by Staff Reporter10 minute read
The Adviser

Westpac has announced today that Gail Kelly will retire as chief executive on February 1 after seven years in the role.

She will be replaced by Brian Hartzer, who joined Westpac in 2012 and who is chief executive of the Australian Financial Services division.

Mr Hartzer currently oversees the group's retail, business banking and wealth businesses, including Westpac Retail & Business Banking, St George Banking Group and BT Financial Group.

Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted thanked Ms Kelly for her "outstanding contribution" and praised her as being "one of Australia's most successful chief executives".


"She was appointed as the Global Financial Crisis was unfolding and her leadership and dedication has seen Westpac emerge a stronger and better company," he said.

"During her tenure the value of the company has more than doubled, with market capitalisation increasing from just under $50 billion to around $104 billion.

"Gail drove the successful merger with St George, which saw the group strengthen its position in retail banking and in wealth."

Mr Maxsted said Ms Kelly had also overseen the development of a diverse workforce.

"She has personally driven the growth of women in senior executive roles, mature-aged workers and those who work part time.

"One of Gail's many strengths has been her development of an outstanding executive team. This nurturing of talent has not only enabled the board to choose an internal candidate for succession, it sets the group up for success beyond her tenure."

Ms Kelly said it had been an honour to serve as Westpac chief executive.

"I am very proud of how we tackled the stresses and challenges of the Global Financial Crisis, supporting our customers while at the same time materially strengthening our balance sheet," she said.

"I am also very pleased with our successful merger with St George. We now have a strong set of customer-centred brands, all performing well and setting us apart from our competitors."

Mr Hartzer said he felt privileged to have been chosen to succeed Ms Kelly.

"It is an exciting time for the organisation as we are poised to become the first Australian company to enter our third century in business," he said.

[Related: Westpac mortgages climb 6.9pc]

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