Former premier Mike Baird quits high-level NAB role

Former NSW premier Mike Baird has stepped up to the crease at Cricket Australia.. <i> Photo: Getty</i>

Former NSW premier Mike Baird has stepped up to the crease at Cricket Australia.. Photo: Getty Photo: AAP

Former NSW premier Mike Baird has quit as head of NAB’s consumer bank after three years with the lender.

The bank said on Thursday that Mr Baird would leave on April 15 and take a break before “considering new opportunities”.

Mr Baird in 2017 agreed to join NAB as head of the corporate and institutional bank just six weeks after resigning as NSW premier.

He was initially rumoured to be among the candidates for the chief executive role when former NAB boss Andrew Thorburn stepped down in February 2019 after copping scathing criticism during the banking royal commission.

Former Commonwealth Bank retail boss Ross McEwan was eventually given the managing director’s job, and charged rebuilding the bank’s battered reputation.

Mr McEwan, who officially started in the role in December, said he supported Mr Baird’s decision to step down.

“I am pleased that he has been part of my leadership team but understand and accept the reasons for his decision to leave,” Mr McEwan said in a release to the ASX.

Mr Baird did not detail his future plans.

“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 said.

Mr Baird’s decision to join NAB came just months before the Hayne royal commission was announced and the bank was dragged over the coals for its misdeeds, which include the fees-for-no-service scandal.

Anthony Waldron, an executive general manager in Mr Baird’s team, will act as chief customer officer of the consumer bank, subject to regulatory approvals, while NAB searches for a permanent replacement.

Mr Baird was elected the state representative for Manly in 2007, became NSW treasurer in 2011, and NSW Liberal Party leader and premier in 2014.

He quit as NSW premier in 2017 amid poor poll results and a string of health crises in his own family.

Warringah, the federal seat that overlaps Mr Baird’s old state electorate, was taken from the Liberal Party at the 2019 election by independent MP Zali Steggall.


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