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Matt Comyn Appointed CEO of the Commonwealth Bank

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

by Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Matt Comyn will be the new Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), effective 9 April 2018, replacing Ian Narev, who announced in August that he would retire before the end of this financial year, after more than six years in the role[1].

The Chairman of CBA, Catherine Livingstone, said a thorough global and local search for the role identified an exceptional field of candidates.  Following a rigorous interview process, the Board concluded that Mr Comyn, 42, has the best mix of attributes and values needed to lead the Commonwealth Bank.

“The Board is delighted that Matt Comyn has accepted the offer to lead the Commonwealth Bank. We believe he was the outstanding candidate, best placed to lead the bank at an important time in its history,” Ms Livingstone said.

“The Board’s main priorities in selecting the new CEO were to identify the candidate who will maintain the momentum in the business, and address the regulatory and reputational challenges and recognise evolving community expectations.  The candidate also needs to transform the business and adapt the organisational capability and culture to suit the rapidly evolving competitive and technology-centric environment.

“Matt has gained respect across the banking sector both in Australia and globally. His track record is one of delivering very strong business performance, as well as a range of innovative, sustainable business improvements that have strengthened customer outcomes.  These have included initiatives reflecting our vision of enhancing financial wellbeing, and consistently industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings for the retail bank.

“His mandate is to continue to make the necessary changes to ensure CBA remains a leading bank with an unwavering focus on its customers and delivering outcomes for shareholders, while achieving the highest operational standards, unequivocally fulfilling our regulatory obligations.

“Our people remain core to the success of CBA, and a fundamental priority will be to energise the culture and elevate employee pride and confidence.

“Matt’s appointment will enable a smooth transition to new leadership, as CBA responds to the current regulatory processes and legal proceedings, accelerating the related changes and improvements already underway.”

Ms Livingstone noted that the Board sincerely thanks Ian Narev for his leadership of the Bank over the past six years. 

“Under Ian’s leadership, CBA has become a more inclusive and innovative organisation, and an employer of choice for gender and social diversity. It has also achieved and sustained industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings, through continued investment in its people and its technology advantage,” Ms Livingstone said.

“CBA's total shareholder return during Ian's time as CEO is over 120%, significantly ahead of the other major banks and the ASX 200 average for the same period.

“Ian's focus on delivery of our long term strategy has served the organisation well, particularly as market conditions continued to change.”

Retiring Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev said it has been a great honour for him to lead the Commonwealth Bank, during a period of great change.

“I am delighted that Matt will lead CBA. He is a respected and trusted executive whom I know will give his all as CEO for the bank’s customers, people and shareholders,” Mr Narev said.

“Matt's values run deep. He is a person of integrity and openness, and has a passion for CBA's vision.  I know he will enhance the best aspects of CBA, while making the changes needed to address the challenges which lie ahead. I am very committed to working with him to achieve a smooth transition in the leadership of the business.”

Incoming Chief Executive Officer Matt Comyn said it is a great privilege to be selected to lead the Commonwealth Bank.

“CBA is both a significant Australian institution and a world class bank, with a proud history that has delivered great outcomes for its customers, shareholders and people for decades, and is well positioned to build on that success for many years to come,” Mr Comyn said.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead the organisation into this next phase of change and transformation.  In terms of outcomes, I believe we can achieve the right balance in meeting the expectations of customers, shareholders and the community, with a sharp focus on our core purpose.

“We can empower our customers to achieve financial wellbeing, and through this broaden and deepen the contribution we make to Australia’s economy. By virtue of the position CBA holds in the community we need to equally demonstrate the highest levels of integrity and operational standards to earn stronger levels of trust within the community and regulators. 

“The last six months in particular have been very challenging and I am committed to working with the Board, the executive team and our wonderful people to rebuild trust in the Commonwealth Bank together.

“It is important that we maintain the momentum underway, upgrading and strengthening our governance, accountability and risk management, while delivering strong financial performance.  We are in a period of significant technology and competitive change, and I look forward to ensuring we remain at the forefront of technology, innovation and a great customer experience.”

[1] Ian Narev will retire from the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer role effective 8 April, 2018.

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