Miner BHP digs for replacement chief
But now sources familiar with BHP management reckon Beaven has pulled out of the race for the biggest job in corporate Australia. Family reasons, we’re told.
BHP won’t comment on succession planning, so the gossiping continues.
The other internal candidate much discussed among institutional investors is Danny Malchuk, who heads the company’s North American mining operations.
And while BHP traditionally replaces from within, some fund managers have pressed the board to consider the possibility of an external candidate. We’re told this request is being taken seriously.
Sports Minister John Sidoti has been kept busy of late by the (preliminary) corruption probe into the propriety of some of his real estate interests — so we shouldn’t be surprised he hasn’t found time to do some basic admin.
And that brings us to the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust, the powerful organisation which administers the SCG and the Sydney Football Stadium.
The Tony Shepherd-chaired outfit is currently short of six trustees. Err, sort of.
On July 13 this year, the appointments of former ABC chairman Maurice Newman, former premier Barry O’Farrell, Vantage private equity boss Rod McGeoch, former News Limited chief executive John Hartigan and former test cricketer Stuart MacGill expired.
Last month, they were permitted to turn up to the trust’s meeting but not vote. At the next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, this absurd situation will happen again.
Meanwhile, Kerrie Mather’s position on the trust also remains unfilled after the former Sydney Airport boss took on the job of SCG chief executive last October.
With Sidoti out of commission for now, Skills Minister Geoff Lee is in charge.
Our sources told us six names are due before Cabinet soon, with at least two expected to be women.
Former opposition leader Bill Shorten and cardboard box mogul Anthony Pratt were all but inseparable in the months leading up to the May federal poll.
Who could forget their quick lunch at Pratt’s Sydney bolthole? Or the party fundraiser at family home Raheen? Or Pratt’s disappointing night at Labor’s Essendon Fields election party?
These days Pratt is spending time with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his pal Donald Trump, celebrating the opening of a new box factory in Wapak, Ohio.
Or, as Morrison said: “We’ve got Wagga Wagga, Wollongong, Wallerang, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Woolloomooloo … so you know, Wapak, that fits right in”.
But Shorten’s replacement, Anthony Albanese, has been doing some networking of his own.
We recall Shorten pointedly rebuffed an invite to meet News Corp’s executive chairman Rupert Murdoch in the United States before the last election, a tradition for leaders of both major parties.
While there has been no rapprochement between Labor and News Corp Australia after withering election campaign coverage from the company’s newspapers in May, we have learned Albanese and his top lieutenants have indeed broken bread with the most senior of Murdoch’s local bosses.
And from what we can tell, it was on the invite of local chairman Michael Miller.
Albanese, his chief of staff Tim Gartrell, deputy leader Richard Marles, Labor’s home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally and foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong were at News Corp’s Holt Street Sydney HQ at the end of June.
Along with Miller, the News Corp contingent was made up of broadcasting executive Siobhan McKenna, corporate affairs chief Campbell Reid, Victorian managing director Peter Blunden and editors from the Australian, the Daily Telegraph and the Courier Mail.
That hasn’t stopped News Corp’s columnists from continuing to get stuck into Labor — most notable was their pursuit of Keneally for her support of the Tamil family living in Biloela fighting extradition.
But relations are probably better than during the height of the election campaign when Labor general secretary Kaila Murnain apparently cut off all contact with the Telegraph’s political reporters after the tabloid’s front page attack on Shorten’s mother Ann.
Still, we’d rather be them than Murnain. Her career hit a major cul-de-sac after the Independent Commission against Corruption revealed she had, after finding out the true source of a $100,000 donation was a property developer, failed to disclose this to authorities.
Kylar Loussikian is The Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD columnist.