Published by Workforce Daily on 05 April 2016

The Aust Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has appointed ex-Shell Australia external and government relations GM James Pearson as its new CEO, to replace Kate Carnell.

The appointment announced today will bring the employer group high-level experience spanning private and public sectors as well as international trade.

Pearson’s private sector work includes Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief exec (during which he was also an ACCI director) from 2008-13; Chevron Aust external affairs manager from 2002-08, responsible for advocacy, workforce communications and corporate social responsibility in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines; and an Aust Petroleum Production & Exploration Assoc director for two years.

Before that Pearson was policy director for the WA Govt’s state development dept from 1997-2000; first secretary economic & trade at the Aust Embassy in China for four years; and was Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade policy officer 1984-89.

ACCI president Terry Wetherall said “James will provide strong and direct leadership for our members”.

Ex-Shell exec will help lead in ‘transitioning economy’: AMMA

Aust Mines & Metals Assoc (AMMA) chief executive and ACCI board member Steve Knott congratulated Pearson on his appointment.

“His international experience makes him well placed to add to ACCI’s considerable track record of global business leadership through the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and in business advocacy to the OECD.”

Knott said resource employers and other trade-exposed industries will “especially welcome James’ experience in international markets, and understanding what it takes to attract job-creating investment to Australia”.

“He is eminently qualified to lead the nation’s peak business representative body at a time when our economy is transitioning, our labour markets and skills are evolving, and there are both significant challenges and great opportunities across all business sectors.”

Wetherall said Pearson would take up his appointment within the next few weeks, replacing Carnell who became the inaugural small business ombudsman earlier this year (WF 5/02/2016).