Plant & Equipment

Boral announces new CEO

Boral chairman Dr Bob Every last week announced the appointment of Mike Kane as CEO and managing director of Boral Limited, effective from 1 October, 2012.

When Selway stood down from the role earlier this year, the board commenced a comprehensive international search for a new CEO. Dr Every said that the board had considered a number of excellent external and internal candidates.

Kane joined Boral in February 2010 in the role of president of Boral USA. He has spent two and half years realigning the US business to the changed market conditions and positioning Boral to take full advantage of the US market recovery.

?Mike?s proven track record in managing businesses through cycles and his stewardship of Boral?s US operations during a period of extremely difficult market conditions while delivering substantial operational improvements is critically important to Boral going forward,? Every said.

?While Mike?s focus has been on managing the US business, he has been a key member of Boral?s executive management committee and has spent considerable time in Boral?s Australian offices.

?As a result of the time Mike has spent in Australia and through working closely with other members of the Boral executive team, Mike comes into the role with a solid knowledge of Boral?s broader operations and markets beyond the US business.?

Morningstar head of equities research Peter Warnes said it was not an issue that Kane had never worked in Australia before and he may have been chosen because Boral wanted to focus on the US market.

Warnes said he was concerned that choosing a 61-year old as the new CEO showed that Boral was not looking at the long term future of the company,  considering the problems it has faced in the past few years.

?My immediate priorities are to work with Boral?s management team to continue to strengthen Boral?s financial position by maximising cash generation, further aligning
Boral?s operational portfolio and delivering benefits from our LEAN manufacturing initiative,? Kane said of his appointment.

?I believe Boral is very well positioned for the next upswing in activity. My medium-term focus is to ensure that the company has in place the necessary strategies to maximise returns through the construction and building cycles.

?I?ll be working with my team over the next six months to define a clear path forward to achieve both our immediate and longer term objectives.?

Batstone, who has been acting CEO, will remain with Boral in a consulting capacity until his retirement in July 2013 and will continue as chairman of Boral Gypsum Asia.

Sources: Boral, AAP

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