Ten Most Powerful CEOs
Name: Marius Kloppers
Company: BHP Billiton
South African-born Marius Kloppers has grown mining giant BHP Billiton’s revenues from $39 billion to over $50 billion since being appointed to CEO in 2006. The main man at BHP has extensive knowledge of the mining industry, enabling him to oversee the global company’s production of iron ore, copper, coal and beyond. Now, according to Forbes, the 49-year-old Kloppers took home $11 million in 2010, and is one of Fortune 500 Magazine’s Top 25 Most Powerful People in Business.
Name: Ian Narev
Company: Commonwealth Bank
He’s the mostly freshly minted CEO on the list, just coming onboard as CBA’s CEO in July after predecessor Ralph Norris stepped down. Narev has been with CBA since 2007 and has been Group Executive, Business and Private Banking since 2009. Commenting on his appointment, Ian Narev said, “I am really looking forward to taking over Australia’s leading bank at a time of rapid change in the local and global economies, continuing the focus on transforming the Group to become Australia’s finest financial services organisation and continuing to move that aspiration selectively into Asia.”
Name: Gail Kelly
As the CEO of Westpac, 55-year-old Gaily Kelly has banked $551 billion assets and $15.9 billion in revenue. In its 2010 profile on Kelly, Forbes said, “Kelly’s every statement and opinion—public or otherwise—is reported minutely, occasionally provoking national controversy. Since late 2009 Kelly has earned the ire of everyday Australians by drastically raising interest rates on loans.”
Name: Clive Palmer
Company: Resourcehouse, et al
Known for his generosity and business savvy, Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer made headlines this year for a $3 billion IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for his mining company, Resourcehouse. Palmer is also a Director of 28 other companies and a pro at securing lucrative transactions. As the founder and chairman of Mineralogy, he’s overseen transactions with the Chinese Government-owned CITIC Pacific Limited, Australasian Resources and Fortescue Metals. It is widely believed that Palmer’s net worth is around A$5 billion.
Name: Mike Smith
Michael Smith has been CEO of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) since October 2007, coming from his post as CEO of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Smith attracted some controversy earlier this year for saying that competition between the major banks was incredibly fierce. “I actually think that the general population and business in Australia get an absolutely amazing deal in terms of the choice they have,” he said. “People talk about agreements between the four big banks, (but) we couldn’t agree what day of the week it is.”
Name: David Stewart
Appointed CEO in 2011 after legendary predecessor Wal King stepped down, Stewart is the former COO with responsibility for Leighton International, Habtoor Leighton Group, John Holland and Leighton Properties. “David brings a comprehensive knowledge of the business, a wealth of contracting experience and a disciplined ‘can do’ attitude that is central to Leighton’s culture,” David Mortimer, the company’s chairman.
Name: Steven Lowy, Peter Lowy
Brothers Steven and Peter Lowy recently stepped into the role as CEOs of shopping mall developer and owner Westfield, after their father and Westfield founder Frank stepped down from the post. The move to shift Peter and Steven Lowy’s current position of co-managing directors follows the company’s creation of a new listed property trust that jointly invests in Westfield’s Australian and New Zealand shopping centers. It comes as the company seeks further developments for its U.S. and U.K. operations.
Name: Neville Power
Company: Fortescue Metals
Neville Power only recently took over the reins of $6.4 billion iron ore producer, Fortescue Metals, just after founder Andrew Forrest stepped down. Power said the company was confident it would be able to meet its expansion target of 155 million tonnes a year by June 2013, one year earlier than planned. He also told The Australian that he wants to build the iron ore miner into “one of the world’s great companies.” “Fortescue has a tremendous culture and the people are absolutely passionate and driven to achieve it,” Power said.
Name: Grant O’Brien
Grant O’Brien has been Deputy CEO of retail giant Woolworths since April 2011, coming from his position as COO of Australian Food & Petrol at Woolworths. He’s been with Woolworths for 24 years, and has played a key role in the development of its liquor business and expansion into the hardware sector. Regarding his CEO appointment, O’Brien told The Australian, “It is a very competitive market, but it’s been that way for a long time, and there’s no doubt that in the supermarket sector at least there’s a new level of competition—Coles are doing a good job, but Woolworths’ supermarkets continue to gain market share … and my desire is to ensure that continues to grow.” His salary with Woolworths is $1.6 million.
Name: David Thodey
David Thodey has been CEO of Australia’s largest telco since 2009, after holding a number of senior executive positions in marketing and sales for Telstra and IBM Australia/New Zealand. According to one-time colleague Peter Kazacos, “The biggest thing he did — and I don’t think it's been matched by any previous or subsequent IBM MD — was that he was always approachable and was very passionate about business partners. He has got a good way of getting things resolved.” Thodey’s salary with Telstra is $2.7 million.
Digital Leader Mobiquity Expands Into Asia-Pacific
As an international digital consulting firm, Mobiquity helps a global client base upgrade its digital banking and financial services. The company employs 1,200 team members across 50+ nationalities and serves an estimated 200+ million users each day. Recently, the company built out a digital banking experience for the Bank of the Philippines Islands’ online and mobile platforms—exemplifying its mission to help leading brands engage with technology in meaningful ways.
To highlight Mobiquity’s services, here are a few of the company’s recent accomplishments:
- Designed and developed the first FDA-approved digital medicine system
- Launched a five-star mobile ordering app
- Pioneered a cloud-based IT infrastructure that prevented bank fraud
- Built the official AWS re:Invent 2017 and 2018 mobile apps
What Makes Mobiquity Stand Out?
According to Mobiquity, it's the people that make all the difference. ‘We’re born innovators who like meaty challenges’, the company wrote. ‘We go deeper, getting to the root of your customers’ friction and creating personalised engagements that deliver much more than a digital experience alone’. Now, the company has added former Microsoft and IBM director Gustavo Quiroga to its team.
Who Is Gustavo Quiroga?
At Mobiquity, he’ll be the first Vice President of Business Development Financial Services in APAC. With years of experience in the industry, Quiroga has developed numerous tech, business, and customer experience projects: at Microsoft, he led a top Aussie Azure Data and AI specialist team, and at IBM, he applied AI and deep analytics to transform the company’s business processes, CX, and UX.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Quiroga will start to work with Mobiquity clients in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines and take responsibility for expanding the company’s regional operations. ‘Our best way to impact client outcomes’, he wrote, ‘is by listening to them with an inquisitive and open mind and empowering our people to do the same’.
When notified of the announcement, Quiroga expressed excitement over his new role. ‘I’m delighted to join Mobiquity and support the company’s rapid expansion across the Asia-Pacific region. I joined Mobiquity to develop, design and implement digital products and services that create meaningful experiences with customers...and I look forward to using my expertise to develop partnerships where we can achieve this every day’.
Where Does Mobiquity Go From Here?
In the past six months, Mobiquity has hired over 100 new employees, including the high-profile additions of Howard Moore, Senior Director of Banking, and Ruby Walia, Senior Advisor for Digital Banking. This falls in line with the company’s hyper-growth strategy to deliver digital products to the world.
As Matthew Williamson, Mobiquity’s Vice President of Global Financial Services, explained: ‘Our appointment of Gustavo demonstrates [our] commitment to hiring an A-list team of talent. The latest addition to the Mobiquity team supports our vision of global growth in Asia-Pacific, as a recognised partner within the banking and finance ecosystem’.