James Pearson named ACCI leader

Former diplomat and Shell executive James Pearson will replace Kate Carnell as CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Carnell recently left ACCI to take up a position as Australia’s first Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. Pearson will take up his appointment within the next few weeks.

Australian Chamber President, Terry Wetherall, said that the Board of the Australian Chamber was delighted that James has accepted the position and will be a strong advocate for the Chamber’s membership.

“James comes to the Chamber with a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors. As a senior executive with Shell Australia and, previously, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia, he has represented business at the highest level and understands the needs of members.”

“He has held executive positions with Chevron Australia, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, the Western Australian Department of Resources Development, and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, and represented the Australian Government, and business, in trade negotiations in diplomatic postings overseas.”

As the AFR reports, the appointment came as a surprise to those who believed that former small business minister Bruce Billson would be named ACCI CEO.

Billson, who lost his ministerial portfolio in last September’s leadership change and will retire from Parliament at the next federal election, was a favourite for the ACCI job.