A non-major bank will be promoting its current chief customer officer to CEO in April of next year.
Gateway Bank’s current and longest-serving CEO, Paul Thomas, is to retire from his role at the end of March 2019, after 14 years at the helm.
As of April, the bank’s chief customer officer, Lexi Airey, will take over from Mr Thomas as CEO.
Ms Airey joined Gateway four years ago as its first CCO, overseeing a wide remit and a singular view of the customer.
Her current role encompasses customer experience, lending and transactional operations, strategic alliances, brand, marketing, sales, product and pricing.
Speaking of her appointment, Gateway Bank’s chair, Catherine Hallinan, commented: “Lexi’s appointment from chief customer officer to CEO demonstrates Gateway’s commitment to putting the customer first, and people before profit.”
“Over the last four years, Lexi has contributed across the business as a driving force behind our customer experience strategy, building new innovative partnerships and elevating our brand.”
Speaking of her upcoming promotion to CEO, Ms Airey said: “There could not be a more exciting time to take on this opportunity.
“In the midst of the [financial services] royal commission, now more than ever, Gateway can demonstrate its customer-centricity and genuine empathy for the customer.”
The bank noted that Ms Airey will work alongside Mr Thomas between now and April to ensure a “seamless transition” for members.
Ms Hallinan thanked Mr Thomas for his contribution, saying that he had steered Gateway through a period of great change.
“Paul’s mandate from the board when he started in March 2005 was to reinvent Gateway,” Ms Hallinan said.
“Along the way, he had to contend with the loss of our membership bond and the impact of the global financial crisis. Gateway now has assets of over $1 billion and world-class levels of customer satisfaction.”