Bank’s longest serving CEO to retire

The chief customer officer will take on the role next year

Bank’s longest serving CEO to retire


By Rebecca Pike

A bank has announced a new CEO in a move it says demonstrates its commitment to putting the customer before profit.

Gateway Bank’s current CEO, Paul Thomas, is its longest serving after 14 years in the role and will retire at the end of March 2019.

The bank’s current chief customer officer, Lexi Airey, has been appointed to fill the position after that time.

Airey joined Gateway four years ago as its first chief customer officer, overseeing a wide remit and a singular view of the customer.

Her current role encompasses customer experience, lending and transactional operations, strategic alliances, brand, marketing, sales, product and pricing.

Gateway’s chair, Catherine Hallinan, said, “Lexi’s appointment from chief customer officer to CEO demonstrates Gateway’s commitment to putting the customer first, and people before profit.

“Over the last four years Lexi has contributed across the business as a driving force behind our customer experience strategy, building new innovative partnerships and elevating our brand.”

Hallinan thanked Paul Thomas for his contribution, having steered Gateway through a period of great change.

She said, “Paul’s mandate from the board when he started in March 2005 was to “reinvent Gateway”. Along the way, he had to contend with the loss of our membership bond and the impact of the Global Financial Crisis.  Gateway now has assets of over $1b and world-class levels of customer satisfaction.”

On her new appointment, Airey said, “There could not be a more exciting time to take on this opportunity. In the midst of the Royal Commission, now more than ever, Gateway can demonstrate its customer centricity and genuine empathy for the customer.”

Between now and April, Lexi will work alongside Paul as he hands over the reins.

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