Interim CEO fills Cowie’s shoes


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council has appointed Kelvin Spiller (right) as its interim CEO while it searches for a permanent replacement for the departed Carl Cowie.

Mr Cowie left Friday 30 August after almost four years at the helm to take up the vacant CEO’s position at Nillumbik, in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne.

The council voted on Monday 3 September to appoint Mr Spiller who is regarded as an experienced local government CEO with 35 years’ experience in business, local government and community sectors as chief executive and board member. He reportedly is highly regarded for his abilities in strategy, governance and operational improvement, and for his “inclusive style of leadership”. He is being paid an all-inclusive daily rate capped at $1650 until a new CEO takes up the position on 9 October.

It is believed the decision to appoint an interim CEO was taken to allow internal applicants for the permanent position to be assessed with no preconceived preferences. Also, the council has a number of projects under way that would be affected by disruptions. The council believes Mr Spiller will bring the organisational stability required while overseeing the progress of these projects.

The mayor Cr Bryan Payne said Mr Spiller was “well recognised within and outside local government as a skilled communicator and an accomplished leader of executive teams”.

“Mr Spiller’s ability to lead and focus executive teams in local government has been well recognised by the Victorian Government who have appointed him to manage councils, including the City of Greater Geelong who were experiencing difficulties,” he said. He started work Tuesday 4 September.

McArthur Executive Recruitment has been charged with finding a new CEO. The council expects to interview suitable applicants on 26 September with the best candidate appointed as CEO at the Tuesday 9 October council meeting.

No payout for former boss

FORMER Mornington Peninsula CEO Carl Cowie did not receive a “golden handshake” prior to departing for Nillumbik.


The mayor Cr Bryan Payne said Mr Cowie gave 12 weeks’ notice “as stipulated in his contract” and was given “only his entitlements”, such as holiday pay and long service leave in return. His contract was to have expired on 20 November.


“We sat down with Mr Cowie who said he was willing to leave early to take up his new post at Nillumbik. We resolved that it was in the best interests of the organisation for him to go as this can be a very destabilising time [when one CEO departs and another is appointed].”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 11 September 2018


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