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New icare CEO overhauls executive team

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New icare CEO Richard Harding has announced an overhaul of the state-owned insurer’s leadership team, involving creation of a new governance role and the departure of a number of executives.

“I am introducing a smaller more accountable leadership team to bring in new thinking and focus the organisation on what it was set up to do,” Mr Harding said today. “These changes are about reducing complexity, duplication and simplifying the business.”

The newly created role of Group Executive for Risk and Governance will have responsibility for lifting risk, compliance and governance performance and will have a dual reporting line to the CEO and to the board. The position will be advertised shortly.

Mr Harding says as a result of the changes Group Executives Rob Craig and Sara Kahlau will be departing the organisation “over the forthcoming period”.

“Don Ferguson will continue for a six-month period to continue to support the transition of the new Group Executive when they are appointed,” he said.

Mr Ferguson, who was interim CEO until Mr Harding took up the permanent role on January 18, will leave the organisation by the end of August.

Mr Harding says his three focus areas are improving risk and governance; improving performance, particularly getting injured workers back to work soon and reducing internal costs; and driving an accountable culture, particularly for the leaders.

“Importantly, we will more closely align the organisation with the different schemes we manage to ensure injured workers, road users, businesses and the NSW Government receive services from those who understand them best,” he says.

“I look forward to sharing more on our plans as the new leadership team settles in and we move forward.”

Mr Harding, previously CEO of Auckland-based Tower, was appointed to the top role at icare after the departure last year of John Nagle, who faced scrutiny by a parliamentary committee over the performance of the insurer and its governance.