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CA ANZ mum on sudden chair departure

The chair of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand board has abruptly resigned seven months into his term.

Professional Development Jotham Lian 11 March 2020
— 1 minute read

CA ANZ board chair Tony Harrington has now resigned, following his appointment to the role on 1 August 2019.

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He was due to serve a three-year term with the opportunity for two additional three-year terms.

The professional accounting body has declined to comment further on the sudden departure, instead acknowledging Mr Harrington’s service during his short tenure.

It is understood that John Palermo, chair of CA ANZ’s audit and risk committee, will act as interim chair of the board.

Mr Harrington, the former chief executive of PwC Australia and law firm MinterEllison, had joined the CA ANZ board as a director in March 2019 after being hand-picked by the CA ANZ Council.

He was then elected by his fellow directors to chair the board in August, following the retirement of outgoing chair Murray Jack.

Mr Harrington was hailed by CA ANZ for his “rich professional experience… founded on his solution orientation, passion for innovation and a culture of service”.

As chair of the board, Mr Harrington was tasked with the oversight of CA ANZ’s long-term strategy, including the performance of the organisation, as well as policy and operational issues.

His remuneration as chair was set at $100,000 per annum.

Mr Harrington also served as the board’s central point of communication with chief executive Rick Ellis, who is set to leave his role when his contract expires midway through this year.

In CA ANZ’s latest annual report, Mr Harrington said: “I would like to say how much I am looking forward to undertaking the role of chair.

“My focus in this context will be on three areas: the meticulous execution of our outcome-focused strategy; building an organisation centred on members’ career growth; and ensuring employer and member confidence in Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand as we play our part in shaping and building confidence in our profession and supporting capital markets globally.”

Earlier grumblings

Several senior CA ANZ members had earlier spoken out against the body’s proposal to increase the maximum number of terms a director can serve on its board from two terms to three terms, with each term to remain at three years.

The proposal was ultimately passed after a member vote, but the particular resolution received the largest opposition, with 26.86 per cent of members voting against it.

Mr Harrington could not be contacted for comment.

More to come.

CA ANZ mum on sudden chair departure
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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