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Changes to Toll board and governance structure revealed

On the back of a revealing interview with The Australian, Toll Chairman, John Mullen, also disclosed some key changes to the company’s management structure.

According to Mullen, Nicola Wakefield-Evans, the sole remaining independent director from the ¬period before Japan Post paid a bumper price of $6.5 billion for Toll in 2015, will be resigning from the Toll board.

He told The Australian the board would carry only internal directors for up to 12 months before rebuilding of an independent board of “ideally up to eight directors” once the company is on the road to recovery.

“There are a lot of cultural and structural issues to overcome to get Toll back to being a high-performing business, but I think they are achievable,” he told the Australian.

It was also revealed that under a new reporting and governance structure, approval will now be required from Japan Post for Toll to undertake “mat¬erial matters’’, while some key group executives will also relocate to Australia.

“There was a considerable lack of communication before — the flow of information back to Japan Post as a shareholder was pretty lamentable. Japan Post just wants transparency,’’ Mullen told The Australian.

“It certainly wants to be involved and across the detail. But it is not preventing the management here from delivering on a day-to-day basis.

After revealing Toll’s estimated earnings before interest and tax would be only $69 million in 2017 – compared to a budgeted $408 million and $266 million in 2016 – Mullen said his priority was on driving productivity by eliminating inefficiencies and duplicated divisional overheads.

The changes will be accompanied by a major IT transformation to modernise and integrate the company’s IT systems and platforms.

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