MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire councillors have dipped into the world of business finance rather than local government to find the shire’s new CEO.
The appointment of Carl Cowie, who was born and educated in Scotland, was announced at a special council meeting last Wednesday. He started work on Monday.
The shire was unable to provide Mr Cowie’s age or other basic information but The News believes he is in his late 40s. Previous employment history was taken from his LinkedIn listing.
Mr Cowie replaces Dr Michael Kennedy, who unexpectedly left the shire mid-November after almost 16 years after being told by councillors he had not made the short list of candidates when his job was advertised for the first time since his appointment in 1999. Dr Kennedy’s $350,000 a year contract was paid out. It was due to expire in February next year.
Mr Cowie is the third CEO of the super shire created by forced amalgamation almost 20 years ago. He follows Warwick Dilley (1995-99) and Dr Kennedy (1999-2014).
Mayor Cr Bev Colomb said councillors were “looking forward to introducing Carl to the Mornington Peninsula community. He will bring a fresh perspective to the leadership role”.
“We are excited about the opportunity to look at everything with new eyes, and explore new ideas and processes.”
Cr Colomb said Mr Cowie “is an internationally experienced senior executive leader, who has used his finance background to lead significant business turnarounds”.
“With experience in healthcare, facilities management, transport, manufacturing and construction project management his focus has been on building a stronger business or organisation, maximising performance and customer satisfaction,” she said.
“Through strong personal management, his philosophy is one of a ‘hands-on’ approach to building high performance teams and executing a clear business strategy.”
The mayor said Mr Cowie holds qualifications in economics, finance, an MBA from Monash Mt Eliza Business School, and studied at Harvard’s School of Public Health in Boston.
Mr Cowie said he was looking forward to working with everyone to make a positive contribution to the success of the shire.
His most recent job was director of Admin Solutions in Melbourne (16 months), providing strategic, contract negotiation and tender advice to public, private and not-for-profit organisations.
Before this he was general manager of business and industry-managed services with Spotless Group (21 months).
Between December 2007 and May 2011 (3 years 6 months) he held various roles with National Patient Transport Group including chief financial officer, CEO and company secretary.
Prior to this Mr Cowie was interim chief financial officer of Solar Systems (6 months), preparing the company for a major equity investor.
He was finance director of Grove Group between 2005 and 2007 (2 years 1 month); chief operating officer of a private hospital in Doha, Qatar, for one year; and general manager of Caulfield Hospital for more than three years between October 2000 and January 2004.
Mr Cowie completed an honours degree in business studies at Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology in Aberdeen, Scotland, between 1985 and 1989.
He is a qualified accountant and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The new CEO is married to Terri and they have three sons and live in Wheelers Hill near Glen Waverley.
— additional reporting David Harrison