Senator Stephen Conroy has appointed Commonwealth Bank director, Harrison Young, as chairperson of the NBN Co Limited board. Young will immediately replace NBN Co chief executive officer, Mike Quigley, in the role of chairperson.
Quigley, who was executive chairperson on the board, will continue as CEO of NBN Co and as a director on the board.
"I am very pleased to welcome the appointment of Mr Young as NBN Co chairperson and am confident he will make a great contribution," Senator Conroy said in a statement. "Mr Young is an experienced executive and director and brings substantial leadership and financial experience to the NBN Co board."
Young was appointed after a selection process conducted by external search firm, Egon Zehnder International, in conjunction with executive leadership consultancy, EWK and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The selection team considered several candidates before settling on Young, according to Conroy.
The selection process is a change of tact for the NBN Co, which was recently slammed for hiring the Queensland premier's former chief of staff, Mike Kaiser, with a $450,000 salary. At the time, shadow communications minister, Tony Smith, said the selection raised "serious questions about the NBN Co’s employment and management processes, and the level of political involvement and interference by the Rudd Government”.
Young currently resides on the Commonwealth Bank board as a non-executive director. Young is chairman of the bank's risk committee and a member of its audit committee, according to his biography on the Commonwealth Bank website.
He also sits on the court of directors of the Bank of England and is a chairman of Better Place, a Melbourne company which plans to erect electric vehicle charging and servicing stations around Australia.
Young has had 30 years of experience in investment banking and has served as a consulted to eight foreign governments. He held a six-year tenure on the board of financial firm, Morgan Stanley Asia and spent four years as chairman of Morgan Stanley Australia.