Leighton Holdings chief executive, Hamish Tyrwhitt, (aka Mr Gucci) was keen to demonstrate yesterday that the well-publicised tensions within the contracting company's management and board ranks were history.
"I don't want to take away from Peter's presentation," said the well-groomed Tyrwhitt when his results presentation began to veer into the territory of his chief financial officer, Peter Gregg. "We're a team. Right, Peter?"
Tyrwhitt then centred on Leighton's key loss-making project in Gregg's home state of Queensland, the Brisbane Airport Link.
"I can't take out the financial performance obviously that is what everyone looks at," said Tyrwhitt, who then went on to marvel at the engineering behind the $4 billion project.
"It's actually hard to believe that that's in Brisbane," Tyrwhitt said as he showed an aerial photograph of the soon-to-be-completed toll road.
"If you go back 20 years, people used to see this in a Starsky & Hutch movie and you never would have thought you'd see flyovers like this in Australia, let alone in Brisbane," the Leighton chief said.
While admitting problems in its Middle East operations kept him awake at night, he seemed to revel in a new-found camaraderie within the crisis-plagued group. "It's amazing when Leighton gets into crisis mode, how the team gets together."
Gregg later reminded his boss to see him at State of Origin time.
HELL AND BACK
The Leighton chief executive also provided a selection of observations for analysts to ponder.
Pointing to a slide showing a mining truck, Tyrwhitt remarked: "That's a good photograph of a truck because it's actually doing what it's meant to do."
After he opened the question and answer session, he also pondered aloud: "I didn't know it rained in Mongolia this week."
Tyrwhitt was more philosophical about the group's disastrous foray into the Middle East. "If we're on the stairway to hell, when do you get off?"
The premature departure of David Jones's former chief executive Mark McInnes in June 2010 led to the delayed retirement of the retailer's well-regarded chief financial officer of nine years, Stephen Goddard, it has emerged.
Yesterday Goddard formally announced his plan to retire from the retailer at Hallowe'en, about 19 months after he first gave notice of retirement to DJ's chairman, Robert Savage. He originally planned to quit in August 2010.
But after the "sudden departure" of McInnes, the former Officeworks' managing director was asked to stay on to ensure stability in the group's management ranks.
The 54-year-old will at least have plenty of spending money for his next vacation to France, thanks to hanging on for another year and a bit. Last October, Goddard had 1,628,322 of his 1,732,258 performance rights come into the money, putting an extra $4 million in his piggy bank.
The Liberal Party's federal member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, scored a mention on one of the most popular investment banking-themed Twitter feeds, GS Elevator Gossip, last week.
The feed, which has snippets of alleged conversations that take place in the elevators of various Goldman Sachs offices around the world, last week recalled some banter that appeared to relate to Alex Turnbull, the son of the former chairman of Goldies in Australia.
Person one: "His dad is Malcolm Turnbull."
Person two: "How else would he get a job here?"
Person three: "He doesn't shut up about Harvard."
Person one: (laughs) "Or 'models'."
The Harvard graduate began working for the investment bank's Asian special situations group in Singapore in 2010.
IT TAKES GUTS
How the former Santos chief executive John Ellice-Flint must yearn for the old days when he simply ran an oil and gas company.
The fish farming business seems a lot less rewarding.
Yesterday shares in the Ellice-Flint-chaired Clean Seas Tuna hit a new low of 7? after the company reported, in a market update, that some of its fish continued to have tummy trouble.
"The company anticipates that the yellowtail kingfish health difficulties currently being experienced will impact the results of the company for the full year," it said.
Cleans Seas's hiramasa kingfish reportedly have enteritis, an inflammation that causes diarrhoea.
"We have had it diagnosed and we are going to treat it and we hope that will contain the problem," the company's chief executive, Craig Foster, told Australian Associated Press yesterday.
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