Aurizon Managing Director & CEO Andrew Harding today announced a new senior management team appointment to support the transition to a new organisational structure effective 1 July, 2017.
Mr Harding announced the proposed structure in March which will see Aurizon shift from a functional based model to a business unit model designed along the core areas of the business – Network, Coal, Bulk, and Intermodal as well as central support and planning functions.
He said the business unit model would help drive transformation efforts with greater efficiencies, improved customer service and productivity improvements.
“While appointments to a number of roles are still being finalised I am pleased to announce today that Michael Riches has been appointed as a direct report to me as the new Group Executive for Network,” Mr Harding said.
“Michael is an experienced executive with extensive regulatory and legal experience in Australia. Most recently he has held several senior roles at Alinta Energy. Prior to joining Alinta Energy, Michael spent six years as a partner at Clayton Utz and before that over 11 years at Minter Ellison.
“Our regulated network business is a key part of our business portfolio and Michael’s experience in negotiating regulatory outcomes will assist in driving reform for the benefit of Aurizon and our customers.
“The successful negotiation of our fifth rail Access Undertaking (UT5) with the Queensland Competition Authority will be one of the first priorities for Michael.”
Mr Harding said the current head of the Network business Alex Kummant would be departing Aurizon this month and he thanked him for the significant contribution he had made to Aurizon over the past five years.
“Alex joined Aurizon in 2012 and has served in a number of key management roles. As the head of Strategy, he helped shape our strategic direction as we continued our transition out of government ownership and expanded our national footprint with new customers and markets.
“More recently he helped to oversee the finalisation of our fourth Access Undertaking (UT4) in Network.”
Mr Harding said he understood the recent changes the company had proposed, particularly to reduce its operating footprint in Queensland, were very difficult for affected employees and communities.
He said however that these changes, combined with the shift to the business unit model, were essential for Aurizon to remain competitive in challenging market conditions and to support future growth