NAB recruits ex NSW premier Mike Baird as chief customer officer

The announcement by NAB that former NSW premier Mike Baird is joining the bank as chief customer officer will not have any impact on the structure of NAB’s marketing department, which was put in place seven months ago, the bank has said.

Mike Baird’s appointment comes after an international search

NAB announced Baird will commence the role of chief customer officer, corporate and institutional banking in April – just four months after his resignation from NSW politics. The move marks a return to the sector for Baird, who started his career at the bank as a graduate in 1989.

The role was one of three created in a marketing restructure put in place by the bank last year in a bid to better focus operations in Australia and New Zealand on customer needs, but will be completely separate from the marketing reporting lines, instead reporting directly to NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn.

Cathryn Carver acted in the role while a global search for a full-time executive was conducted, resulting in Baird’s appointment.

The restructure last year also saw personal banking rebranded as consumer banking and wealth management, while business banking was renamed business and private banking.

A spokesperson for NAB confirmed that the the new appointments would not change the marketing structure of the business under the leadership of chief marketing officer Andrew Knott.

Andrew Knott’s role not affected by Baird’s appointment

Knott joined NAB in 2015 from McDonald’s where he was head of media and digital for the fast food chain across the region.

In January Knott announced a series of senior hires for the bank including former Westpac senior marketer Karen Ganschow as general manager for consumer marketing and customer strategy.

Also joining NAB were Analisa Kirby, general manager for intermediary marketing and Suzana Ristevski, general manager, business marketing and customer strategy.

Baird’s appointment to the senior corporate role has grabbed headlines for NAB, but CEO Andrew Thorburn said Baird brought invaluable experience to the role.

“His time as treasurer and premier if New South Wales means he returns to banking with invaluable experience in leading economic and financial reform to grow the economy,” Thorburn said.

“Mike has outstanding leadership and a determination to drive change and make a difference by building relationships with customers and the community.”

Baird’s final months in the role as premier were mired in controversy as the government pushed through council mergers, backflipped on a greyhound racing ban, stood by Sydney lockout laws and felled hundreds of trees to make way for the new light rail.


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