Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate Resigns
Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate has tendered her resignation from the company following an intense federal government investigation into internal spending, which saw PM Scott Morrison call for her to stand down.
The embattled executive has quit her $1.5 million-a-year post after three years at the helm, with Australia Post set to release a statement later today.
“I have offered today the Chairman and Board of Australia Post, with great sadness, my resignation as Chief Executive with immediate effect. I am not seeking any financial compensation,” Holgate wrote in a statement.
“I deeply regret that a decision made two years ago, which was supported by the Chair, to recognise the outstanding work of four employees has caused so much debate and distraction and I appreciate the optics of the gifts involved do not pass the “pub test” for many.
“I still believe firmly that the people who achieved the [email protected] outcome for Australia Post deserved recognition, their work secured a $220m investment over the following years, which dramatically improved the financial performance of the company, protected a critical community service which more than 50% of the communities in Australia depend on and made our Community Post Offices sustainable for the long term.
“I will make myself readily available to participate in the investigation of this matter and any other issues of possible concern. I have no animosity towards the Government and have enjoyed working with the Prime Minister, the Shareholder Ministers and many other political leaders during my tenure.”
Holgate was at the centre of an investigation into why Australia Post forked over nearly $20,000 to reward executives with Cartier watches.
Holgate confirmed four watches were given to executive staff members Gary Starr, Deanne Keetelaar, Anna Bennett and Greg Sutherland in October 2018 as a reward for securing the “[email protected]” deal, which allows Australians to access banking services at Australia Post.
According to the Australian Financial Review, the timepieces given to staff $7000, $4750, $4400 and $3800, totalling $19,950, and were bought in November 2018.
The questions surrounding the inflated jewellery expenditure is just one of the lines of enquiry the government madeinto internal spending at Australia Post, including executive salaries.
Holgate was asked to stand down on October 22.
Scott Morrison bluntly told Holgate – who has been CEO since October 2017 – if she doesn’t step aside “she can go” following the Cartier revelations.
More to come.