Australia's Largest Companies 2014
Andrew Mackenzie, CEO
BHP Billiton has been topping lists for years. This Anglo-Australian multinational mining and petroleum company, with roots all the way back to the late 1800s, is headquartered in Melbourne. As of 2011, it was the largest mining company in the world, with several mines and facilities worldwide. With a focus on leadership and sustainability, BHP Billiton’s strategy is to own and operate large, long-term, low-cost, expandable upstream assets.
Sam Walsh, CEO
Not surprising, another global mining and metal company takes the runner-up spot. Rio Tinto has operations on six continents and focuses mainly on the extraction of minerals (including aluminium, copper, diamonds, gold and industrial minerals), but also has significant operations in refining. They’ve been in business for 140 years, and like BHP, has an eye towards sustainable development.
Richard Goyder, CEO
Headquartered in Perth, Wesfarmers Limited is one of Australia’s largest public companies and largest retailers. The company employs over 220,000 in several different industries, including retail with Kmart and Target, resources with Curragh, and others. Wesfarmers also owns Coles, a national supermarket, liquor and fuel retailer. Recently, Wesfarmers announced their plan to sell their insurance arm of the business for $1 billion.
Grant O’Brien, CEO
Like Wesfarmers, Woolworths is a major retail company in Australia and New Zealand. With just over 200,000 employees, Woolworths operates in supermarkets, petrol, liquor and home improvement fields. It’s the largest retail company by market capitalisation and sales, and the largest food retailer and takeaway liquor retailer in Australia. A major advantage of these “largest of” companies is their age; Woolworths opened their first store in 1924.
National Australia Bank
Cameron Clyne, CEO
National Australia Bank is the largest of Australia’s four biggest financial institutions, in terms of market capitalisation and customers. By putting their customers at the centre of everything they do, NAB is able to offer their services to over 12 million people across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States. They offer business and consumer banking, wholesale banking, wealth management, and insurance.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Ian Narev, CEO
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was the second largest Australian listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2008, and currently operates worldwide with over 44,000 employees. It was founded in 1911 by the Australian government and is one of the big four Australian Banks. Commbank was one of Dream Employers’ top 20 preferred employers in 2010 and 2011.
Westpac Bank of Australia
Gail Kelly, CEO
With almost 1,200 branches and 2,900 ATMs, Westpac is Australia’s largest branch network. The company operates worldwide and has its headquarters in Sydney. Although third out of the banks on this list, it is the second largest bank by assets in Australia. Surprisingly, Westpac does not fit the mold of many on this list – they are a relatively young company, founded in 1982. Recently, CEO Gail Kelly announced a $100 million scholarship program to support Australia’s brightest students.
Australian and New Zealand Banking Group
Michael Smith, CEO
Better known for their shortened moniker, ANZ is the third largest bank in Australia (going by market capitalisation). They are also the largest bank in New Zealand, although the majority of ANZ’s business is commercial and retail banking in Australia. Named the most sustainable global bank by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2007 and 2008, the company offers consumer, corporate and investment banking (among other services) in thirty nations.
David Thodey, CEO
With a focus on voice, mobile, internet access, pay television and other entertainment services, Telstra has continued to be Australia’s largest telecommunications and media company since the end of the 20th century. Current CEO David Thodey is moving Telstra towards a sales and marketing heavy approach, sure to generate stronger revenue for the company. They offer their wide-range of services for personal, small business, enterprise and government use.
Mick Davis, CEO
One of three mining companies on the list, Xstrata is headquartered in Switzerland, but maintains several mines and facilities throughout Australia. The company is a major producer of coal, and the world’s largest producer of ferrochrome, an alloy of chromium and iron ore. They employ over 70,000 people and are one of the largest companies on the London Stock Exchange.