Former Cleanaway boss Vik Bansal makes his ASX return with Boral CEO appointment

Former Cleanaway boss Vik Bansal makes his ASX return with Boral CEO appointment

Vik Bansal has been named the new CEO of building materials maker Boral.

The former CEO of waste management company Cleanaway (ASX: CWY) Vik Bansal has today been named the new managing director of Boral Limited (ASX: BLD), marking his return to a top job at an ASX-listed firm.

The announcement comes a year and a half after he resigned from Cleanaway, which at the time followed on from Bansal staring down workplace bullying accusations made during his tenure at the Australian garbage collection company.

Bansal’s appointment as CEO and managing director of construction materials firm Boral will be effective on or before 5 December 2022 once he leaves his current role as CEO of steelmaking business InfraBuild.

“Vik is a seasoned leader with extensive experience, and has a track record of instilling discipline and efficiency in complex businesses to create value for all stakeholders,” Boral chairman Ryan Stokes said.

“He is the right leader to guide the company into a new era. Vik has the passion, commitment and strategic leadership skills required to drive a performance orientated culture with a focus on productivity, stakeholders and leveraging Boral’s competitive advantages.”

Bansal said he hoped to support Boral reach its potential and return value for shareholders once he steps into the role.

“Boral is an iconic and compelling business with great assets and a well-respected and motivated workforce,” Bansal said.

“I am excited to be part of Boral’s next phase of creating value for all its stakeholders through a culture of safety, and focus on service, sustainability and simplification.”

The current CEO of Boral, Zlatko Todorcevski, will remain in the CEO role until the transition to Bansal is completed.

“I am proud of what we have achieved over the last two years to return Boral’s focus to its core Australian operations, all while facing unprecedented challenges, including the worst of the pandemic, construction shutdowns and floods. I am particularly proud of the leadership position Boral is taking to decarbonise our business and provide leading sustainable solutions to our customers,” Todorcevski said.

“I would like to thank Ryan and the Board for the opportunity to serve as Boral CEO, and for their ongoing support and counsel.”

Todorcevski took on the leadership role shortly before exiting his non-executive directorship at The Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR), where he had been chair of the casino and resort operator's audit committee. A recent inquiry into the company called into question the governance of various executives and directors at that time - although not specifically Todorcevski - prompting a mass exodus in May 2022.

Bansal will receive $1.5 million per annum in fixed remuneration as CEO plus short and long term bonuses. By comparison Bansal's fixed salary at Cleanaway was $1.4 million in FY20, plus incentives and benefits. 

His resignation from Cleanaway in January 2021 came just four months after the Australian Financial Review published allegations that Bansal bullied and intimidated Cleanaway employees.

According to the AFR, Bansal was investigated in June 2020 over accusations he led a "culture of bullying and harassment", with sources claiming he would swear at staff and exclude women from promotion opportunities.

Sources who spoke to the AFR also alleged the company's board, chaired by Mark Chellew, failed to probe Bansal's behaviour for several years.

Cleanaway responded to the issues raised, claiming a range of measures had been introduced including executive leadership mentoring, enhanced reporting, and monitoring of the CEO's conduct following an investigation into his behaviour.

However, Bansal did not offer up an apology.

"I accept the feedback and remain totally committed to creating a progressive culture at Cleanaway while executing on our strategy and delivering ongoing financial performance," Bansal said.

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