Ahmed Fahour

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Ahmed Fahour
AO
Born 1966 (age 50–51)
Lebanon
Nationality Australian
Education St Joseph's College
Redden College
Alma mater La Trobe University
Melbourne Business School
Occupation Former CEO of Australia Post
Salary AUS$5.6 million (2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Dionnie Fahour
Children 4

Ahmed Fahour AO (Arabic: أحمد فاعور‎ ; born 1966) is a Lebanese Australian businessman. He is the former managing director and group CEO of Australia Post,[2] and was formerly the chief executive officer of the Australian operations of the National Australia Bank (NAB).

Early life and career[edit]

Fahour was born in Lebanon in 1966, and migrated to Australia with his parents, Abdel and Siham, in 1969.[3][4] His parents became successful businesspeople in Australia and have eight children.[5]

He studied at St Joseph's College in North Fitzroy, and later attended Redden College in Preston. In 1987, he graduated from La Trobe University in Melbourne with a Bachelor of Economics.[6] He went on to complete his Master of Business Administration degree at Melbourne Business School in 1993 while working for Boston Consulting Group.[7] 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]

Fahour joined NAB in September 2004 as Chief Executive Officer Australia. He then became an executive member of the board. On 20 February 2009 he stepped down from the Principal Board and Group Executive Committee.[8] Fahour has held directorships of Nasdaq Dubai, the Rip Curl Group and been a trustee of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He was invited by the Prime Minister and Treasurer to be the Interim Chief Executive of the Australian Business Investment Partnership.[8]

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.[9] There, he commenced a business renewal program, called "Future Ready".[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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".[13] The Digital MailBox was given a soft launch at Parliament House, Canberra, in October 2012 and it was officially opened to Australian consumers for the first time in May 2013.[14]

In June 2014, Fahour was widely criticised for his $4.8 million salary, whilst sacking 900 staff.[15] He was once Australia's highest-paid public servant, receiving a total salary package of $5.6 million (including a $1.2 million bonus) in 2016.[16][1]

Under Fahour's leadership, in 2015 Australia Post recorded its first full-year loss in over 30 years, with half-year profits down some 56 percent.[17]

In February 2017, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull criticised Fahour's $5.6 million salary saying, "As the Prime Minister and a taxpayer, I've spoken to the chairman today. I think that salary, that remuneration, is too high."[18] On 23 February, Australia Post announced that Fahour has resigned as managing director and CEO of Australia Post, and would step down from the role in July 2017.[19]

Upon resigning from CEO of Australia Post, in July 2017 Fahour joined BCG Digital Ventures as non-executive chairman for Asia

Latter career[edit]

In 2011 Fahour was appointed the Australian Government's special envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.[20]

In 2014 Fahour was appointed chairman of Pro-Pac Packaging Group (PPG).[21] The same year he was appointed an adjunct professor at La Trobe Business School; and became a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.[citation needed] In 2017 Fahour was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to business, particularly in the area of postal communications, to the banking and investment sectors, and as a supporter of improved multicultural relations.[22]

Views on extremism[edit]

Fahour says the best way to counter Islamic extremism is to give Muslim 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'.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Fahour lives in Hawthorn, Melbourne, in a house 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.[16]

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.[5] Moustafa's wife, Maysaa, is the chairwoman and director.

Fahour is married to Dionnie and has four children.[4] He has four brothers and three sisters.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chung, Frank (8 February 2017). "Australia Post CEO paid $5.6 million in 2016". news.com.au. News Limited. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour resigns after salary furore". ABC News. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Fahour, Ahmed (6 June 2013). "Essay: Ahmed Fahour". SBS. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Warner, Michael (3 May 2008). "Just a suburban boy". Herald Sun. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "La Trobe University Alumni awarded for outstanding contributions to society". La Trobe University. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Hughes, Duncan (11 January 2015). "Local boy comes back home to cleaning job at NAB". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Ahmed Fahour steps down from NAB Executive and Board". www.nab.com.au (Press release). NAB. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2017. Mr said he was leaving the business after nearly five years because the job he was employed to do had been completed successfully. 
  9. ^ "Ahmed Fahour appointed new Australia Post MD and CEO". Australia Post. 23 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Australia Post Newsroom". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Publications - Australia Post". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Financial report - Australia Post Annual Report 2014". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Publications - Australia Post". Auspost.com.au. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Australia Post launches Digital MailBox beta". Business Spectator. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ a b Pallisco, Marc (19 November 2015). "Businessman Ahmed Fahour's landmark mansion to get a multimillion-dollar makeover". Domain. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Hutchens, Gareth (24 February 2015). "Australia Post profit falls 56 per cent as letters business crashes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 February 2017. The dramatic profit dive was driven by mounting losses of $151 million in its letters business. 
  18. ^ "Malcolm Turnbull says $5.6 million salary of Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour is too high". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
  19. ^ Belot, Henry (23 February 2017). "Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour resigns after salary furore". ABC News. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Appoints Envoy to peak Muslim Body". The Australian. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "Share Price & Information". ASX. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (PDF). Australia Day 2017 Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  23. ^ 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.