BREAKING: Gail Kelly retires, Brian Hartzer to become next Westpac CEO


Gail Kelly will retire as Chief Executive Officer on 1 February 2015 from Westpac Banking Corporation. The Board announced today it will appoint Brian Hartzer to succeed Mrs Kelly as the Group’s CEO.

The announcement was issued by the Chairman of the Board, Lindsay Maxsted, and follows yesterday’s reports that Mrs Kelly has become one of the country’s highest paid executives, with her pay packet swelling to nearly $13 million.

Mr Hartzer is currently Chief Executive, Australian Financial Services, responsible for the Westpac Group’s retail, business banking and wealth businesses, including Westpac Retail & Business Banking, St.George Banking Group and BT Financial Group.

Brian has more than 25 years’ experience in financial services. Before joining Westpac in 2012, he was Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Chief Executive Officer UK Retail, Wealth and Ulster Bank. Mr Hartzer was previously a senior executive at ANZ, including its Chief Executive Officer, Australia, covering that bank’s domestic retail, commercial banking and wealth management businesses.

Mrs Kelly said: “It has been a great honour for me to be the CEO of this wonderful company. It has been an amazing seven years, during which time Westpac has fundamentally transformed and grown.”

“I’m delighted Brian Hartzer has been appointed to the role. Brian and I have worked closely during the past two and a half years. He is a proven leader and a wonderful fit for the Westpac culture. This is an exciting time for the Group,” she said.

The Board appointed Mr Harzter following a global and local market assessment, citing his strong results in leading the AFS team greater customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

Mr Maxted said, “Importantly, Brian has the experience, skills and energy to continue Westpac’s strong financial performance as well as engage effectively with all stakeholders including customers, employees, investors and regulators.”

Mr Hartzer said: ““Gail leaves a first class organisation. Westpac has a proud history of helping customers and supporting the economic development of the country. I intend to strengthen that leadership by making Westpac one of the world’s great service businesses, pushing the boundaries in digital transformation, and delivering strong results so that we are the best performing bank in the region.”