Christine Holgate, the Chief Executive Officer for the Australia Post, handed in her resignation today following the discovery that the federally-funded company bought four $20,000 Cartier watches as gifts for its senior executives.
The purchases were discovered in Senate Estimates a month ago, and prompted the Communications Minister Paul Fletcher and Prime Minister Scott Morrison to demand an investigation into the company and its ostensibly frivolous spending.
At the time of the Senate Estimates, Mr Morrison told Parliament that he was “appalled” at the company’s behaviour, which he described as “disgraceful and not on”.
As a result of the revelations, The CEO, Ms. Holgate was requested to resign by the Australia Post chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo on October 22.
Speaking on the ongoing controversy, Ms. Holgate stated that “the current issue I am managing is a significant distraction and I do not believe it is good for either Australia Post or my own personal wellbeing.”
The former CEO of Australia Post went on to say that “consequently, I have made the difficult decision to resign, hoping it will allow the organisation to fully focus on serving our customers.”
However, Ms. Holgate stated she didn’t consider the watch purchases to be frivolous, stating that to “drive positive change, you need to thank and reward positive behaviours”.
Ms. Holgate then said that she was only disappointed that her efforts “to recognise the outstanding work of four employees has caused so much debate and distraction”.
Until the company finds a replacement CEO, the existing Managing director of Aus Post Rodney Boys will be stepping in as interim CEO.
“My sincere apologies if my words or actions have offended others as this would never have been my intention because I have always held Australia Post in the greatest regard,” Ms. Holgate concluded.