The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) announced the appointment of James Strong AO FAICD as chairman at its AGM on 7 November.
Strong is chairman of Woolworths Limited (he will retire at his 12th AGM later in November), chairman of Kathmandu Holdings Limited and a director of Qantas Airways Limited.
He has served on AICD’s board since being appointed as a national director in 2011 and succeeds Richard Lee, who retired at the AGM having completed his three-year term as chairman. Lee had served on the National Board since 2007.
Lee said he felt privileged to work on a range of issues of vital importance to the director community, including deregulation, director liability, board diversity and not-for-profit governance.
“In particular, I have been incredibly proud to lead the organisation’s efforts in helping to increase gender diversity on Australian boards, including through our Chairmen’s Mentoring Program and Board Diversity Scholarship programs,” said Lee.
Strong said he was motivated by the challenge of leading the AICD at a time where directors face an ever-changing governance landscape.
“I’m excited about the prospect of continuing to build our reputation, our effectiveness as the voice of directors in Australia and the professional standing of our members,” said Strong.
“We recognise that the community and shareholders have heightened expectations of directors and boards and I’m looking forward to leading the organisation as it helps new and experienced directors navigate the complex world of directorship, including through their own professional development.”
Strong is also chairman of the Organising Committee for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and Painaustralia, a board member of CanAssist and the Sydney Writers' Festival and a member of the Nomura Australia Advisory Board and Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
He was formerly the chief executive and managing director of Qantas Airways Limited from 1993 to 2001, chairman of Insurance Australia Group Limited and Rip Curl Group Pty Limited, group chief executive of DB Group Limited in New Zealand, national managing partner and later chairman of law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, chief executive of Trans Australian Airlines (later Australian Airlines) and executive director of the Australian Mining Industry Council.
He has been admitted as a barrister and/or solicitor in various state jurisdictions in Australia.
In 2006, Strong was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to business and commerce, particularly in the aviation, insurance and retail fields, and to the arts as an administrator and philanthropist.
Two new directors have also joined the AICD board: Kathleen Conlon FAICD – president, NSW Division Council, and Peter Hay FAICD – national director.
AICD CEO and managing director John Colvin thanked three other outgoing board members for their service to the board.
“Kevin McCann AM FAICD, Colin Galbraith AM FAICD and Linda Nicholls AO FAICD have voluntarily dedicated their time and expertise to improve the quality of directorship and governance in Australia,” said Colvin.
“Just like other not-for-profit organisations across Australia, our directors are critical to our long-term sustainability and success and, along with our outgoing chairman Richard Lee, Linda, Kevin and Colin have all made a great contribution during their time on our board.”