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Top 100 : 2007
100 TOP Industry Kirby Adams, 51 Managing Director and CEO of BlueScope Steel, Melbourne Industrial engineer, Auburn University, Alabama, US Since Kirby Adams became chief of BlueScope in 2002 the company has tripled its value, to more than $10 billion in revenue. The fi rm has 18,250 employees, with about 8300 located in Australia. The rest of the labour force is in North America, Southeast Asia, China, New Zealand and the Pacifi c. Prior to his appointment Kirby was a senior executive with the BHP Billiton group and head of the former BHP Steel since March 2000. He is a former chairman of the International Iron and Steel Institute and a former president and chief executive offi cer of Titanium Metals Corporation, the world’s largest titanium metals company. Adams has signalled his intention to retire from BlueScope Steel later this year. His favourite recreations are skiing, swimming and travel. Doug Aberle, 53 Managing Director, Western Power, Perth Electrical engineer, University of Western Australia Doug Aberle is the managing director of Western Power, the electricity transmission and distribution business established after the disaggregation of Western Australia’s vertically integrated utility in April 2006. In its fi rst year of operation, he faced the challenge of completely restructuring the new business. Western Power has more than 3200 employees, including embedded contractors 38 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA JUNE 2007 and an annual turnover of $700 million. Aberle is also overseeing an $800 million investment program, approximately double the spend of the previous two years. As well, the state-owned business was given budget approvals for $3.5 billion worth of expenditure over the next four years. This will enable it to meet the record growth occurring within Western Australia while upgrading the network after years of under-investment. Outside work, Aberle regularly runs, swims and enjoys scuba diving. He has had a longstanding interest in counselling and psychotherapy and has spent 14 years on the Board of South West Counselling Incorporated, a not-for-profi t counselling agency, located in the south-west of Western Australia. Paul Anthony, 51 CEO of AGL Mechanical engineer, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK Paul Anthony heads Australia’s largest energy utility with a customer base of 4.1 million accounts in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. AGL is also a top 50 ASX-listed company with a 2005/2006 revenue of $4.3 billion. Founded in Sydney almost 170 years ago, the company is one of the country’s oldest continuing public companies. Anthony is passionate about addressing climate change and carbon emissions in a sustainable way and recently appeared on ABC television on the “Difference of opinion” show where climate change was the subject of discussion. “AGL already takes carbon emissions and the price of carbon into every single investment decision it makes,” he said. He pointed out that in the past 12 months AGL had committed to invest more than $2 billion in renewable power generation and already has a number of wind and hydro projects under construction. Trevor Eastwood, 65 Nonexecutive chairman, Wesfarmers, Perth Mechanical engineer, University of Western Australia Trevor Eastwood is very optimistic for the future of Wesfarmers, a fi rm which is a serious contender for acquiring retailing fi rm Coles Group. He believes Wesfarmers’ success in recent years (it employs about 30,000 people and achieved a $9 billion revenue in 2005/2006) has been in the way it developed systems to manage a diverse group of subsidiary companies. “Our corporate executive is independent of the operating companies, all of which are treated as individual entities,” he told Engineers Australia magazine. He started his career with the then Westralian Farmers Cooperative in 1963, and held a number of management positions including his fi nal eight years as managing director of Wesfarmers. He was appointed chairman of Wesfarmers in 2002. Eastwood’s main passions outside of work are building fi ne furniture and collecting, restoring, racing and rallying historic cars. Grant Every-Burns, 55 CEO and Managing Director, Macquarie Generation, Newcastle Electrical engineer, University of NSW While Grant EveryBurns acknowledges that keeping up a freshwater supply to Bayswater and Liddell Powerstations is presenting a challenge in the current drought, he believes Australia should try to retain its competitive advantage as a supplier of relatively low-cost energy. 38-46 g - Top 100.indd 38 38-46 g - Top 100.indd 38 7/6/07 11:24:38 AM 7/6/07 11:24:38 AM