Iron ore to grain: surprise selection for CBH boss

Cally DupeThe West Australian
Jimmy Wilson.
Camera IconJimmy Wilson. Credit: WA News, Simon Santi

CBH has appointed former BHP Billiton Iron Ore president Jimmy Wilson as its new chief executive.

Mr Wilson, who departed BHP in February last year after a management restructure, will start work at CBH on August 14 and officially take the reins from predecessor Andy Crane on October 1.

Mr Crane announced in March he would step down after 17 years at CBH and eight years in the top role.

CBH chair Wally Newman said Mr Wilson’s experience heading one of the largest resource assets in the world was a boon for the grain handler.

“The board was seeking a candidate that would drive and shape the next phase of development for our growers’ supply chain,” he said.

“Ensuring the organisation is fit to match the fiercely competitive environment of international grain trading and foster the culture required to support this.

“Jimmy’s proven strengths in extracting efficiencies from integrated operations, driving excellence in capital management, and using innovation and technology to escalate changes in productivity, make him a natural fit for the organisation.”

Mr Wilson said the opportunity to lead CBH presented an exciting challenge.

“I have worked across many different countries, commodities and markets over my career and the shift into grain, while outside the traditional mining and resources sector, has many operational and trading synergies with the industries I have enjoyed working in,” he said.

“Jobs of this calibre and complexity are rare, even more so in Perth, and I feel very privileged to undertake this appointment, and begin an exciting future path with CBH and the growers of Western Australia.”

Mr Newman said the board met Mr Wilson a number of times before making the appointment.

During the next two weeks, Mr Wilson will attend grower meetings throughout regional WA to meet CBH members.

Mr Crane will formally depart the co-operative until November 30 but his next move has not been revealed.

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