Nigel McBride Has Decided To Step Down From His Role As Chief Executive Of Business SA When His Current Contract Ends On 30 June 2019, After He Will Have Served Seven Years As Leader Of The State’s Largest Business And Employer Organisation.

Mr McBride Leaves Business SA In A Strong Position, Having Overseen The Most Effective And High-Profile Campaigns In The Organisation’s 179-Year History Including Opposing The Bank Tax, Highlighting Skills And Population Issues Before The Last State Election And Lobbying For Lower Company Taxes.

”I am immensely proud to have led a great team to support our businesses and employers during some of the most difficult times in the state’s history, as they have faced pressures that include soaring energy costs, lack of access to skills and unnecessarily restrictive regulation, like antiquated shop trading hours,” Mr McBride said.

“We have run data-driven, high-stakes, pro-business campaigns without fear or favour because we know a strong business community means real jobs for our children and a prosperous future for all South Australians.

“Business SA has developed an outstanding reputation as the state’s leading business and employer advocacy group, with our policy and research work also attracting national recognition.”

New Business SA Chair Nikki Govan said Mr McBride would leave the organisation in good hands, with an outstanding executive team and a positive workplace culture, backed by an impressive team of like-minded people who advocated for businesses of all sizes.

“He will be missed by his team, stakeholders, members and many, many others who have dealt with him during his tenure,” Ms Govan said. “He has inspired many and leaves a remarkable footprint when considering his multitude of achievements.”

“The board thanks Nigel for the significant contribution he has made to the South Australian business community. The eight-month transition period will provide assurance to our staff, our members and all our stakeholders that there will be no disruption as we continue to serve the business community to a high standard.”

Former Chair Vincent Tremaine, who worked closely with Mr McBride throughout his tenure, said he had introduced a greater level of transparency and commercial discipline, and had transformed the organisation into a more modern member-driven body.

“He is a great leader who inspires and brings his team on the journey with him, in a tough membership environment,” Mr Tremaine said. “It’s not going to be easy to replace him.”

“As a former chair I consider myself fortunate to have a CEO of Nigel’s calibre to work with. We have always had a great relationship despite operating in a difficult environment at times.”

As the Managing Director of Business SA’s longest continuing member Coopers Brewery, Tim Cooper said he was disappointed Mr McBride had chosen to go.

“Nigel has always shown a passion for helping support and grow businesses in South Australia,” Dr Cooper said.

“He has helped to bring businesses together and created a sense of collegiality within the community. He has fought for business rights and has not been afraid to stand up for what’s best for business, regardless of which party is in power.

“The business community needs a strong advocate and Coopers has appreciated his ability to represent our needs, and those of the small and medium-sized enterprises in South Australia.”

Some of Mr McBride’s achievements while leading Business SA have included:

  • Conducting key advertising campaigns to stop a bank tax being introduced, to promote the urgency around skills and population growth ahead of the 2018 State Election and to cut company tax
  • Launching two four-year charters to promote a better business and economic policy framework for the state, including the most recent 2018 Charter for a More Prosperous South Australia
  • Leading advocacy in regional South Australia, creating an historic alliance between Business SA and 11 key regional chambers of commerce which informs the biannual Regional Voice Survey to enable us to better meet the needs of businesses and employers in our country cities and towns
  • Building strong bridges with colleague industry associations including working with them on shared economic policies and key campaigns
  • Leading the advocacy to create the Office of the Industry Participation Advocate after calling out the appalling lack of local business support that used to be the culture of state procurement
  • Driving thought leadership on issues including energy, population, skills, nuclear waste storage, methamphetamine use in the workplace, gender pay equity, growing relationships with France and French industry, older worker engagement and militant unionism
  • Hosting major state events including our 175th celebrations, the Back to Business lunch series featuring leaders such as former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the annual Export Awards, the Regional Voice roadshow and The Chamber business networking evenings
  • Undertaking major restructures and implementing ongoing renewal to create an organisation that became increasingly leaner, flatter and more agile to better serve the needs of businesses and employers, and
  • Re-branding the organisation and creating a range of new programs, including the Export Ready Program and the Encore entrepreneurial program.

Mr McBride said he remained deeply committed to South Australia and he would always be an advocate for the state and its business and employer community. At a time when the state is seeing an encouraging range of economic opportunities across diverse industries, he looks forward to being part of the state’s next chapter of growth.

The Business SA board will begin an extensive national and international search to replace Mr McBride later this month.

Taken from Business SA Media Release 1 November 2018