Ahmed Fahour

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Ahmed Fahour
Born 1966 (age 49–50)
Nationality Australian
Education St Joseph's College
Redden College
Alma mater La Trobe University
Melbourne Business School
Occupation CEO, Australia Post
Salary AUS$4.6 million (2014)[1]
Spouse(s) Dionnie Fahour
Children 4

Ahmed Fahour (born 1966) is a Lebanese-born Australian businessman. He is the managing director and group CEO of Australia Post, and was formerly the chief executive officer of the Australian operations of the National Australia Bank (NAB). He is Australia’s highest-paid public servant.

Early life and career[edit]

Fahour was born in Lebanon in 1966, and migrated to Australia with his parents in 1970. His parents became successful businesspeople in Australia and have eight children.[2]

He studied at St Joseph's College in North Fitzroy, and later attended Redden College in Preston. After high school, he attended Latrobe University in Melbourne from 1984.[citation needed] He went on to complete his Master of Business Administration degree at Melbourne Business School in 1993 while working for Boston Consulting Group.[citation needed] He became a director of the group in 1997 and spent a year as co-managing director of its joint-venture investment company, Iformation.[citation needed]

Banking executive[edit]

He joined Citigroup in 2000 as senior vice-president of corporate development in New York, at the age of 36.[citation needed] Subsequently, around 2002, Fahour became CEO of Citigroup Alternative Investments where he was responsible for consolidating all the non-traditional investment businesses (private equity, hedge funds, real estate).[citation needed] In February 2004 Fahour was named chief executive of Citigroup (Australia and New Zealand).[citation needed]

Fahour joined the National Australia Bank (NAB) in September 2004 as an executive director and Australian CEO.[citation needed] One month later, he became a board member.[citation needed] Fahour focused on building a new brand, culture and service proposition at NAB.[citation needed] Under his leadership, there was a major turnaround in the performance of the bank and its wealth management subsidiary (MLC).[citation needed]

In February 2009, Fahour was appointed as interim CEO of the Australian Business Investment Partnership, an organisation which ultimately did not secure approval from the Australian Senate.[citation needed] In July 2009, he was appointed as CEO at Gulf Finance House, based in Bahrain, where he was responsible for developing the bank’s strategic direction and overseeing a major capital raising.[citation needed]

Australia Post[edit]

In December 2009, Fahour was announced as the new managing director and chief executive officer of Australia Post (a federal government-owned business), commencing on 1 February 2010.[3] There, he commenced a business renewal program, called "Future Ready".[4] The program involved the implementation of a more customer-focused business model designed to capitalise on Australia Post’s reputation as a trusted services provider.

Under Fahour's direction, Australia Post had two consecutive years of profit growth (in FY2011 and FY2012) following steep profit declines in the preceding two years (FY2009 and FY2010), as Australian letter volumes started to decline.[5] Further letter volume decline led to reduced profits in FY2013 and FY2014 with repeated calls from Fahour for government agreement to fundamental reform of the letter service to prevent Australia Post incurring future losses.[6]

In March 2012, Fahour announced plans to create the "Australia Post Digital MailBox", as part of the postal corporation's strategy "to build a sustainable communications business, both physically and digitally".[7] The Digital MailBox was given a soft launch at Parliament House, Canberra, in October 2012 and it was offiically opened to Australian consumers for the first time in May 2013.[8]

In November 2012, Australia Post became the sole owner of the express road freight company StarTrack, by acquiring the remaining 50% stake in the business from their joint-venture partner Qantas. In March 2013, Fahour claimed that the "email era was coming to an end" to support his case for the digital mailbox.[citation needed] The secure digital mailbox is now a key element of an even broader set of online offerings from Australia Post, collectively called MyPost.

In June 2014, Fahour was widely criticised for his $4.8 million salary, whilst sacking 900 staff.[9] He is Australia’s highest-paid public servant.[10]

Government appointment[edit]

Fahour was appointed the Commonwealth of Australia's special envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.[11]

Other roles[edit]

Fahour is chairman of Pro-Pac [12]

Fahour was appointed an adjunct professor at La Trobe Business School, in June 2014; and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Views on extremism[edit]

Fahour says the best way to counter Islamic extremism is to give young people jobs and opportunities. He says that extremists misinterpret Islamic teachings such as the Quranic injunction, 'whoever kills an innocent person, it's as if he has killed all of mankind'.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Fahour lives in Melbourne, that he bought in 2013 from Globe International co-founder Peter Hill for $20 million, and as of November 2015, is planning to spend $4.5 million in extending it. The house was originally built for Sir James Frederick Palmer, the first Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Council, and was later owned by the comic and entrepreneur George Coppin, before becoming a private school.[10]

Fahour and his family have made significant financial contributions to the Islamic Museum of Australia, the founder and director of which is his brother, Moustafa Fahour, a former Macquarie Bank executive. His sister, MasterChef participant Samira El Khafir, is the head chef and manages the cafe on site.[2] Moustafa’s wife, Maysaa, is the chairwoman and director.

Fahour is married to Dionnie and has four children. He has four brothers and three sisters.


  1. ^ Jane Cadzow. "Ahmed Fahour: delivering the goods for Australia Post?". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  2. ^ a b Whinnett, Ellen (18 June 2014). "Australia Post donates boss Ahmed Fahour's $2m bonus to Islamic Museum of Australia". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Ahmed Fahour appointed new Australia Post MD and CEO". Australia Post. 2009-12-23. 
  4. ^ "Australia Post Newsroom". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Publications - Australia Post". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  6. ^ "Financial report - Australia Post Annual Report 2014". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  7. ^ "Publications - Australia Post". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  8. ^ "Australia Post launches Digital MailBox beta". Business Spectator. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  9. ^ Bourke, Latika (11 June 2014). "Critics of Australia Post's decision to sack 900 staff questioning CEO Ahmed Fahour's $4.8 million salary". ABC. Archived from the original on 1 November 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Pallisco, Marc (19 November 2015). "Businessman Ahmed Fahour's landmark mansion to get a multimillion-dollar makeover". Domain. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Appoints Envoy to peak Muslim Body". Theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  12. ^ "Share Price & Information". ASX. 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  13. ^ Brown, Rachael (9 October 2015). "'Stop messing with Australia and its society', Grand Mufti hits out at Islamic extremism". ABC News. Retrieved 6 May 2016.