Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
Aussie Home Loans has appointed a new general manager of customer with responsibility across marketing, digital and IT.
Richard Burns has spent the last seven years with Commonwealth Bank’s CommSec division, where he is currently general manager of customer experience and responsible for overseeing end-to-end customer engagement. His 20-year career includes marketing, product and strategy roles with CommSec, ETrade Australia and McKechnie Consumer Products.
He takes up his new post with Aussie on 9 February and will have responsibility for brand, marketing, digital presence, customer retention and data and IT architecture and operations, leading a team of 40 staff.
Burns replaces former general manager of marketing and product, Stuart Tucker, who left Aussie a year ago to become GM of brand, sponsorship and marketing operations at CommBank.
However, the expanded and renamed role now includes IT, which was previously overseen by Aussie’s general manager of finance and technology, John McDonald.
As a result, Burns will have three direct reports: Head of marketing and digital, Alex Crompton; acting senior manager of customer retention, Tim Whyld; and CIO, James O’Donnell.
Aussie’s founder and executive chairman, John Symond, said Burns will be a key contributor to the company’s executive management team.
“General manager customer is a critical and unique role within our business, and we have been searching across industries and markets to find the right person for the job,” he said in a statement. “I am delighted that this search led us to Richard and that he accepted my offer to join the Aussie team.”
Symond added Burns will be responsible for protecting and growing the Aussie brand while strengthening its digital prowess and presence by tapping into innovative technology.
“Richard is an impressive senior executive and without doubt has the right cultural fit, vision, experience and drive to lead our marketing, digital and IT teams,” Symond said.
Burns said he was delighted to be joining such an iconic Australian brand.
“Leading the IT, digital and marketing teams will be a great challenge, and one that will allow me to draw upon my experience in each of these three areas,” he said. “I have heard great things about the team and am looking forward to meeting and working with them all.”CMO50 #8: Richard Burns, Aussie Home Loans