QRN coal chief McAuliffe loses job

QR National has shaken up its board, replacing its head of coal divisions Marcus McAuliffe in a bid to move the company from a business unit model to a more functional structure.
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Lauren Barrett

The role of executive for coal operations will now be undertaken by two people as QRN is focusing on increasing the momentum of reform, according to managing director Lance Hockridge.

“Marcus led a rapid and comprehensive reform of the coal business that allowed it to face into the newly arriving competition in Queensland and triple the size of the business in NSW,” he said.

“His leadership has delivered safety, revenue, earnings and capital productivity gains which underpin the performance of our coal business for the future and he has contributed strongly to broader organisational reform.”

Ed McKeiver will assume the role of senior vice president of coal and “will assume most of the operational responsibilities previously undertaken by Marcus McAuliffe.”

McKeiver was previously group general manager for Rollingstock Services and prior to that had a distinguished career in manufacturing in Australia and overseas with Bluescope Steel.

He will be joined by Chris Gregg, who was group general manager for the company’s freight business.

“We see enormous opportunity to grow our business and the change in structure combined with the new appointments will provide a platform for that growth,” Hockridge said.

The new functional structure will begin on December 1 and will be similar in structure to the Class 1 railroads of North America.

Under the company overhaul, QRN will run its operation under eight division functions, including marketing, business sustainability, operations, finance and business development.

QRN said it was currently undertaking a global search for the position of executive vice president for operations, which will be filled by Lindsay Cooper in the interim.

Other changes to the company include hiring Greg Robinson to lead the business sustainability function.

Robinson was previously general manager at Lysaght and worked in senior positions with Bluescope Steel and BHP.

Paul Scurrah has been appointed the executive vice president for marketing, while Ken Lewsey will move from the head of QR National freight to lead the company’s strategy and business development function.

Hockridge said there was enormous opportunity to grow the business and the change in structure combined with the appointments announced would provide a platform for that growth.