CBA's HR boss and ex-ASB marketing executive Barbara Chapman named ASB's new CEO

CBA's HR boss and ex-ASB marketing executive Barbara Chapman named ASB's new CEO

ASB has appointed Barbara Chapman, current head of human resources (HR) at its parent Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and a former ASB marketing executive, as its new CEO and managing director.

Chapman will take up the role on April 26. She replaces ASB's former retail head, Ian Park, who has served as acting CEO since Charles Pink unexpectedly departed last November. CBA's CEO is New Zealander and former ASB CEO Ralph Norris.

Read ASB's statement below:

The ASB Bank Board has appointed New Zealander, Barbara Chapman, as ASB Bank Limited’s new Chief Executive and Managing Director.

She will also become a non-executive director of Sovereign Assurance Company Limited’s parent company, ASB Group (Life) Limited, and will take up these positions on 26 April 2011.

Ms Chapman is returning to New Zealand and ASB after a five-year secondment with parent company, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She is currently CBA’s Group Executive, HR and Group Services, and has been based in Sydney.

“The Board is delighted to confirm Ms Chapman’s appointment to the top role at ASB Bank,” says ASB’s Chairman, Mr Gary Judd QC.

“Ms Chapman was the stand out candidate for the position. It is a tribute to both Barbara and the strength of the CBA Group’s senior executive development programme that our leaders are able to seamlessly gain and take advantage of significant hands-on experience across a diverse range of international banking and financial services businesses.

“A career banker, Barbara worked for 12 years as a senior executive at ASB specialising in marketing, human resources and retail banking roles, and then as Managing Director of Sovereign, before relocating to Sydney in 2006. A member of CBA’s executive committee, she currently heads up their HR, sustainability, marketing and communications operations.

“Ms Chapman has an extensive list of professional achievements to her credit, and was a key member of the senior management team that transitioned ASB into a nationally operating, full service financial services institution.

At CBA she has driven a range of key customer satisfaction, culture building and brand repositioning initiatives across the Group.

“She understands ASB’s culture and people, the New Zealand marketplace and the subtleties of New Zealand’s economy. “Her leadership skills and achievements are well known to our ASB people, to many of our customers, and within political, business and banking and financial services circles.

“The ASB Board also wishes to place on record its gratitude to Ian Park, who has so ably led the Bank as Acting Chief Executive over the past four months and will continue in this role until 26 April.

Ms Chapman holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Diploma in Industrial Relations. She was the inaugural winner of the TVNZ Marketer of the Year award, is an inductee of the NZ Marketing Hall of Fame, a past Chair of Oxfam New Zealand, past director of Oxfam International and the past Chair of NZ Equal Employment Opportunities Trust.

Ms Chapman said she was delighted to be appointed to the role, and is looking forward to the opportunity of leading ASB.

“ASB is a soundly performing business with a great team of people, a strong focus on excellent customer service, and a long and proud history of commitment to the communities in which it operates.

“I am looking forward to returning to New Zealand and working with the ASB team to continue to build on these key strengths.”

And see CBA's statement:

Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Norris today announced that the Bank’s Group Executive Human Resources and Group Services, Ms Barbara Chapman has been appointed Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Group’s New Zealand subsidiary, ASB Bank.

Ms Chapman is also being appointed a non-executive Director of the Group’s New Zealand life insurance business, ASB Group Life Limited (Sovereign), and as CEO of ASB will remain a Group Executive of the Commonwealth Bank.

Mr Norris thanked Ms Chapman for her contribution to the Commonwealth Bank Group since moving over from Managing Director of Sovereign Assurance in mid 2006. In particular, Mr Norris highlighted Ms Chapman’s involvement in driving cultural change, increasing the Group’s focus on diversity and people development, and transforming the Bank’s marketing and brand position.

“The Group has been very fortunate to have had Barbara’s wide ranging experience and commitment over the past five years while we have introduced and delivered on our Group strategy, in particular in relation to our focus on people engagement and customer satisfaction,” Mr Norris said.

“I am delighted that Barbara is moving on within the Group and assuming leadership of ASB Bank.

Her leadership skills and strong track record in Retail Banking, Insurance, Marketing, Communication and Human Resources, alongside the experience she has obtained as a member of the Group’s Executive Committee, make her an ideal appointment to this role,” he added.

Ms Chapman will commence in her new role 26 April 2011. On Ms Chapman’s departure, Ross McEwan will assume responsibility for the Group’s marketing efforts, in addition to his role as Group Executive Retail Banking Services, and the Group’s Head of Strategy, Annabel Spring, will assume responsibility for Communications.

A search is currently underway to find a successor to Ms Chapman as Group Executive Human Resources.

(Update adds CBA's statement).

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