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Role and responsibilities of Board and management

The role of the Board is to approve the strategic direction of the Group, guide and monitor the management of Wesfarmers and its businesses in achieving its strategic plans and oversee good governance practice. The Board's duty is to protect and enhance the interests of the Company and its shareholders, while taking into account the interests of other stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community. In performing its role, the Board is committed to a high standard of corporate governance practice and fostering a culture of compliance which values ethical behaviour, personal and corporate integrity, accountability and respect for others.

The Wesfarmers Group Managing Director has responsibility for the day-to-day management of Wesfarmers and its businesses, and is supported in this function by the Wesfarmers Leadership Team. Details of the members of the Wesfarmers Leadership Team are set out under the Wesfarmers Leadership Team profiles in the corporate governance section of the company’s website.

The Board maintains ultimate responsibility for strategy and control of Wesfarmers and its businesses. In fulfilling its roles and responsibilities, some key focus areas for the Board during the 2017 financial year are set out below.

Key focus areas of the Board during the 2017 financial year included: 

  • Overseeing Group Managing Director succession planning, resulting in the appointment in February 2017 of Mr Rob Scott as the Group’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, to succeed the current Group Managing Director, Mr Richard Goyder, at the conclusion of the 2017 Annual General Meeting
  • Approving leadership appointments, including Mr Anthony Gianotti who became the Group’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer in July 2017 and will succeed the current Chief Financial Officer, Mr Terry Bowen, on 10 November 2017, and senior management changes
  • Overseeing management’s performance in strategy implementation
  • Monitoring the Group’s operating and cash flow performance, financial position and key metrics, including financial covenants and credit ratings
  • Reviewing business operations and development plans of each division likely to impact long-term shareholder value creation through portfolio management and consideration of divestment options
  • Monitoring the Group’s safety performance and overseeing implementation of strategies to improve safety performance and enhance workplace safety awareness
  • Reviewing talent management and development
  • Monitoring and evaluating growth opportunities to complement the existing portfolio
  • Approving revisions to the Board and committee charters
  • Reviewing policies, reporting and processes to improve the Group’s system of corporate governance
  • Reviewing and monitoring the management of the Group’s key risks