Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA May-Jun 2011 Contents THE SOMETIMES CHALLENGING
relationship between boards and
CEOs is rumoured to be behind
the recent departures of several
prominent aged care leaders.
Longstanding Director of
Australia's largest aged care
provider, UnitingCare Ageing,
Gillian McFee departed early
in March without any public
announcement while Domain
Principal Group's managing
director, Dr Greg Roder, stepped
down a couple of weeks later.
Ms McFee's sudden departure
had been the subject of industry
whispers for three weeks before
the UnitingCare NSW.ACT Board
issued a statement on 21 March.
The board appointed Mr
David Makinson as the interim
Acting Director, and in its
statement, said that Ms McFee
had successfully taken the
organisation in a new direction.
Chairperson of the
UnitingCare Ageing Board,
Jan Bowe, said that during
the ongoing process to recruit
a new Director, "[...] all staff
will continue to ensure our
day-to-day service delivery to
older people in the community
remains at the core of all our
actions and deeds".
One day earlier, 'Australia's
largest privately-owned aged
care provider,' Domain Principal
Group had 'confirmed' the
departure of its managing director,
Dr Greg Roder, after less than 18
months in the top position.
The statement from Domain
Principal's Chairman, Jack Ritch,
said Dr Roder and the board
had decided mutually the time
was right for him to pursue other
opportunities and announced
Gary Barnier, the group's CFO, as
his acting replacement.
"Domain Principal has
undergone a lot of change and
faced several challenges in recent
times, and I am looking forward
to Gary taking the company
forward in the immediate term,"
Mr Ritch said.
According to the statement,
Dr Roder was a key driver in
bringing the Domain and Principal
companies together to form the
Domain Principal Group in 2008.
Formerly AMP Capital's Head of
Infrastructure, Australia and New
Zealand, Dr Roder restructured
the executive and operational
teams and corporatised the group
once he assumed the position of
managing director in October 2009.
Mr Ritch thanked Dr Roder
for his significant contribution,
wished him well for his future and
reaffirmed the group's focus on
and commitment to caring for its
residents, and delivering for its
staff, stakeholders and investors.
Domain Principal became
the largest for-profit aged care
provider in Australia in January
2008 following its 100 per cent
acquisition of Domain Aged
Care from MFS Limited. In
recent months it has received
negative media coverage for non-
On 19 April, RDNS in Victoria
became the latest aged care
provider to announce the
resignation of its CEO. Dan
Romanis had been in the position
for 17 years.
Mr Romanis has overseen
growth from $40 million to $110
million in revenue for the company,
according to a statement from the
board in which its chairman, Paul
Montgomery, acknowledged Mr
Romanis' strong leadership and
years of service to the organisation.
"The prominent position RDNS
enjoys today as the leading
provider of nursing-led homecare
services in Australia is, without
doubt, due to Dan's leadership,"
Mr Montgomery said.
"Our staff and stakeholders
have been witness to his focused
guidance. Dan has always placed
the importance of quality client-
focused care at the centre of all
RDNS does, while introducing
many new and innovative
According to one industry insider,
however, Mr Romanis' decison to
resign was not entirely his own,
and is the latest example of a
chief executive falling out of step
with the board's expectations.
"There was a sense that Mr
Romanis had been in the position
there for a long time and that
fresh leadership was needed,
especially to progress the
organisation's expansion plans
into New Zealand and New South
Wales," said the commentator,
who asked not to be identified.
"I think there was a sense
that the process of change
and expansion was not
proceeding fast enough or
as fast as the board would
like. It has become a much
more competitive environment,
and it seems the Board - and
boards everywhere - are looking
for new, energetic leadership to
keep them on top of the game."
Mr Romanis' resignation takes
effect from July 1st. He will take a
short break before considering new
opportunities in his career, and the
process for his replacement will
commence shortly. n
The case of the
ABOVE: Gillian McFee
BELOW: Dan Romanis
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