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Top 100 : 2008
INDUSTRY Christopher Roberts, 54 President and CEO of Cochlear, Sydney Chemical engineer, University of NSW C hristopher Roberts is president and CEO of Cochlear, which has more than 1600 employees. Last year, its annual revenue was $559.4 million with almost half of that coming from the US. The company develops implantable hearing technology and it spends 12% of its sales revenue on research and development. “Leading a company is like designing it for the future. You can analyse the past but you must design the future – drawing upon the relevant skills of engineering such as systems thinking, boundary conditions, constraints, trade-offs and such,” he said. The company is working with Macquarie University to relo- cate its head offi ce and research and manufacturing facilities to a $100 million site on the university campus. There will also be an opportunity to create a hearing precinct. John Schubert, 65 Chair of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sydney Chemical engineer, Melbourne University Commonwealth Bank of Australia since 2004. The bank has some 38,000 staff. Last year, it reported a net profi t after tax of $4.6 billion for the year ending 30 June 2007. Schubert is currently on the boards of BHP Billiton and Qantas Airways. He is also the chair of G2 Therapies Limited. He performs community work as chair of the J Great Barrier Reef Foundation where he focuses on raising funding for research to protect the reef from coral bleaching and ocean acidifi cation. Schubert’s engineering career spanned the petroleum, mining and building materials industries. He was managing director and CEO of Pioneer International and managing director and chair of Esso Australia. 46 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA JUNE 2008 ohn Schubert has been the chair of the David Saxelby, 55 Managing Director of Thiess, Brisbane Civil engineer, Sydney University Thiess last year, after working for the company for 14 years. The company forecasts rev- D enue of $5 billion for this year and has more than 16,000 employees and 8000 subcontractors working in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and India. The company was recently part of the winning consortium for the $4 billion airport link and northern busway project in Brisbane. Saxelby continues to develop the company’s mining pres- ence with the recent win of a $1 billion coal mining contract in Jharkhand, India. He has been involved with the expansion of the services division which covers waste management, utilities and facilities management. He is a director of the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Constructors Association. Ross Taylor, 45 Global Chief Operating Offi cer of Lend Lease, Sydney Civil engineer, University of Queensland A s global chief operating offi cer of Lend Lease, Ross Taylor is responsible for 11,500 staff. He oversees the company’s operating businesses around the world which include investment management, property development and construction. Last year, the company’s annual revenue was $14.3 billion. Taylor said a major challenge has been moving fast enough to keep the businesses ahead of the implications of the global credit squeeze triggered by the subprime issues in the US. “We have been successful in doing this,” he said. In the past year, the company launched a Singapore development fund, was the preferred bidder on the athletes village for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and grew its military housing privatisation business in the US to over 40,000 homes. Recently, Taylor enjoyed surfi ng the outer atolls of the Mal- dives. “My friends and I were surfi ng the most perfect six to eight foot crystal clear barrelling waves – it was just superb,” he said. avid Saxelby was appointed as the managing director of Book 1.indb 46 Book 1.indb 46 4/6/08 15:16:42 4/6/08 15:16:42