New leader for AADL and ADMA as Stephen Porges becomes CEO

The Australian Alliance for Data Leadership (AADL) has appointed a new leader, with former CEO of Aussie Home Loans, Stephen Porges taking the helm.

The announcement comes after a period of turmoil for the network of industry associations – which includes the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) – which kicked off when CEO Jodie Sangster left her position as CEO of ADMA after seven years in March, and culminated with Ben Sharp leaving the organisation after just two weeks as managing director.

AADL is “confident that Stephen is the best person” for the job

Following Sangster’s resignation in March, publishing and start-up veteran Sharp joined ADMA as managing director, rather than CEO, with Steve Sinha remaining as acting CEO for AADL.

At the time, Mumbrella was told the ADMA CEO role would not be directly replaced.

Sharp, however, was gone within two weeks.

On the Mumbrellacast, following his departure from ADMA, Sharp said he could not elaborate on the reasons for his departure.

Porges now takes over the helm at umbrella organisation AADL, with oversight of ADMA, however Mumbrella understands the search is still underway for a direct leader of ADMA – in the form of a general manager or managing director, rather than CEO.

Porges boasts an extensive CEO and leadership background, leading HSBC Securities in New York as managing director in the late 1990s to early 2000s, before becoming CEO of ASX-listed biotechnology company Proteome Systems for three years.

From there, he moved back into finance as CEO of Newcastle Permanent Building Society in 2006 and then CEO of Aussie Home Loans in 2008.

He left Aussie in 2013, soon after the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) increased its ownership stake to 80%.

Porges then had a brief stint as CEO of SAI Global – a risk-managemenet and property services company.

His most recent position was chairman of information technology and services outfit Advara.

Porges has demonstrated proven leadership in high-growth and mature corporate environments, AADL said in a statement, as well as a track record in building, motivating and leading senior management teams.

“He brings a strong understanding of the machinations of the C-suite, government and the requirements for risk management – attributes key to the role that AADL and its associations play in the industry,” the statement said.

Former ADMA MD Sharp on the Mumbrellacast, unable to elaborate on his time at ADMA

Chairman of AADL, Steve Brennen added that given what the industry and association is facing, the strongest talent was required.

“It’s a unique time across all industries as businesses see a continued increase in customer expectations alongside the exponential growth in data. The pace of change is set to accelerate, and the strongest talent is required to bring the necessary leadership required to help our members manage the challenges today and ahead,” he said.

“We’re fortunate to gain a CEO with Stephen’s deep corporate experience, gravitas and dynamic vision. The board and the executive leadership team are confident that Stephen is the best person to lead AADL.”

Brennen said the company was “grateful” to Sinha “who demonstrated strong capabilities in stepping up to oversee the associations in the interim”, but noted it was looking forward “to navigating our next phase of growth to enable the success of Australian businesses and the economy” under Porges.

Porges added: “I’m incredibly excited to be spearheading our efforts to empower businesses using data in all its various aspects. Data collection, governance, analysis and use is so critical; however they are typically viewed in a piecemeal fashion. Our network of associations with excellence in each of their fields, bringing all aspects of data together, provides incredible value to members. This model is unique globally, and with the future being increasingly data-driven, we are thrilled to be leading the way.”

The AADL includes ADMA, as well as the Institute for Analytics Professionals Australia (IAPA), Data Governance Australia (DGA) and Digital + Technology Collective.


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