Former NSW premier Mike Baird to leave NAB

Former NSW premier Mike Baird to leave NAB

The leadership shake-up continues at National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) after chief customer officer for consumer banking Mike Baird (pictured) chose to leave after just over three years on the job.

His departure will be effective 15 April, following a "rewarding" three years at NAB through one of the banking sector's most challenging and disruptive periods

Baird started his career with NAB in 1989, kicking off a 17-year stretch with Australian and international banks before he entered NSW politics where he became treasurer in 2011 and was then premier from 2014-17.

The executive's return to NAB in February 2017 was announced 10 months before the tumultuous Royal Commission into the banking and finances sector was launched.

At first he was leading NAB's corporate and institutional bank, and would later take on the consumer banking role in 2018.

Then CEO Andrew Thorburn drew attention to Baird's "invaluable experience" leading economic and financial reform to grow the economy.

"Mike has outstanding leadership and a determination to drive change and make a difference by building relationships with customers and the community," Thorburn said when Baird was appointed.

Baird will now follow Thorburn and former chairman Ken Henry out the door as he seeks new opportunities, but new CEO Ross McEwan has offered him glowing praise.

"He has always spoken up for doing the right thing and been a voice for the broader community," says McEwan.

"Mike has been a tremendous leader, challenger of convention and staunch advocate for customers in his time at NAB."

McEwan is pleased to have had Baird as part of his leadership team, but he understands and accepts the reasons for his decision to leave.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ross and I know the cultural and structural changes being considered will be strong foundations for NAB's future. He will make a big difference," says Baird.

"I have an open mind about what I will do next and will use the time to determine where I believe I can make the best, most fulfilling contribution to business and the wider community."

He will be replaced in the interim by Anthony Waldron, currently an executive general manager in Baird's team with more than 20 years' experience at NAB and its subsidiaries, while the bank seeks out a permanent replacement.

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