Harding to replace Hockridge as Aurizon CEO

Aurizon's management restructure sees the replacement of current MD & CEO

Harding to replace Hockridge as Aurizon CEO
Lance Hockridge will continue in his current role until December 1 this year.


Less than two months after a major management shake-up that saw senior management roles cut or merge, Aurizon has announced the impending departure of managing director and chief executive officer Lance Hockridge and the appointment of Andrew Harding as his successor.

Harding, who worked with the Rio Tinto Group for more than 24 years holding various executive management and operating roles both domestically and globally, was until June this year the chief executive ofits iron ore division.

Hockridge will continue in his current position until December 1, when Harding commences the new role.

Hockridge will receive termination benefits in accordance with the provisions of his contract upon ceasing employment with Aurizon at the end of the year, a company statement says.

Aurizon chairman Tim Poole says planning the succession of the CEO has been on the top of the company’s priority list this year.

"Our inaugural managing director & CEO, Lance Hockridge, has led the company since our IPO in 2010 and has been a chief architect of our success to date," Poole says.

"Lance’s leadership and vision have been crucial to what we have been able to achieve as a company.

"Our financial and operating performance metrics have significantly improved since IPO and he has been successful in bringing many in line with world class performance."

In welcoming Harding, Poole says, "Andrew’s ability and experience will be essential in driving the next phase of transformation to increase value for Aurizon shareholders.

"He has global operational experience, has managed complex logistics operations attached to mining operations and has a detailed understanding of the issues facing our customers."

Harding holds a Masters of Business Administration from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Mining Engineering from the University of New South Wales.

The company has seen some highs and lows in past few months.

Despite a full-year net profit drop of 88 per cent, Aurizon expects business to grow on the back of new contracts and intermodal projects including the estimated $100 million contract with K&S Freighters and the commencement of its rail port shuttle at its Enfield Intermodal facility in Sydney.

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