Major port CEO announces retirement

The Chief Executive Officer of Victoria’s largest port has announced retirement after five years in the role.

Brendan Bourke, CEO of Port of Melbourne, has stepped down from the position following a long career in transport and infrastructure. 

The PoM Board also announced that Saul Cannon has been appointed as the new CEO at PoM and will start on 15 November 2021. 

Mr Saul is currently the CFO at Toll Group and has extensive senior leadership and relevant industry experience.

Mr Bourke took the position in 2016, just after the awarding of the 50-year port lease to the Port of Melbourne Group (PoM). 

Since that time, Mr Bourke has led significant programs and projects including the Port Development Strategy that outlines how the port will adapt to growth over the next 30 years. 

Under Mr Bourke’s leadership, PoM also delivered a port rail strategy that will provide a new on-port rail terminal to grow the volume of containers that move by rail, managed investments of over $370 million, and worked with many stakeholders to ensure that the port remains the biggest container and general cargo port in Australia. 

Port of Melbourne Chairman, John Stanhope, said, “Brendan has demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership to PoM and I want to publicly thank Brendan for his service in ensuring the port continues to perform its essential role in facilitating trade and contributing to the state’s economy.” 

Mr Bourke was instrumental in improving organisational operations and strengthening the approach to safety by implementing the Port’s Integrated Management System which includes four ISO certifications covering Asset Management, Environmental Management, Occupational Health and Safety, and Quality Management Systems. 

Mr Bourke also made staff engagement a priority, improving year on year through his leadership to receive recognition as a Top 10 Best Employer by leading human capital firm Kincentric. 

Mr Stanhope said, “I wish Brendan well in his retirement and am confident the Port and port freight supply chain community will continue to benefit from his valued leadership and achievements delivered over the last five years.”

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