Chris Rodwell

Austrade Commissioner Chris Rodwell will replace Deidre Willmott as CCIWA CEO effective February 1, 2018.

CCI President Ray Sputore says the CCI Board is extremely pleased to welcome Chris as CEO to lead WA’s peak business body and ensure we continue to hold the pre-eminent position as the voice of industry and business in WA.

Chris joins CCI having spent the previous four years as Australia’s Trade Commissioner to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

In this time, he has overseen a transformation in Australia’s commercial relationship with Mexico across the resources, advanced manufacturing, food and agribusiness, infrastructure and education sectors.

His role included regular travel to WA to establish and foster relationships with many major businesses engaged in international markets, successfully securing participation of WA’s resources sector in Mexico following a historic reform program.

Prior to this, Chris was the Queensland State Government’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Americas, and the Director of Australian Industry Group in Queensland.

He has specific expertise in innovation policy and skills development, and has held non-executive positions on bodies regulating workplace health and safety, workers compensation and vocational education and training.

“Chris has a proven track record in successfully building relationships across business and government, domestically and internationally, and is respected across the political spectrum,” Sputore says. 

"This sits alongside his success in leading organisational enhancement.

“This professional experience will be a major asset to CCI to continue our vision of making WA the best place in the world to live and do business.”

Mr Rodwell said it is an honour to be appointed Chief Executive Officer of CCI.

“It is CCI’s Members, the WA business community, that underpin WA’s prosperity. They are essential to building not only our economy but the communities in which they operate,” Mr Rodwell said. 

“To achieve greater prosperity there can be no pause on economic reform. We must shape and challenge the policy agenda to ensure WA businesses are best placed to navigate the next era of globalisation.

“Advocating for a regulatory framework that inspires innovation, and inserting WA businesses into global value chains will be central to our future success.

“My commitment is for CCI to be the most contemporary reflection of the business community it represents. WA has an extraordinary pool of talent and expertise to draw upon. It is time for optimism, time to capitalise, and time for a new era of growth.”

Mr Sputore paid tribute to the outstanding contribution of outgoing CEO Deidre Willmott.

“Deidre has been an ardent advocate for the WA business community during what has been a difficult time for our state following the resources downturn,” Mr Sputore said.

“Under Deidre’s leadership, CCI has been transformed into a modern, sustainable, and agile advocate and business services organisation.”