New CEO takes helm

By Chris Thomson | posted on May 24, 2018

A RETAIL journeyman who spent five-and-a-half years as a state development manager at Coles has been appointed CEO of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

On Tuesday, Chamber President Caroline Hayes asked The Weekender not to call new CEO Mark Forrest as he was packing to move from Perth to Albany.

Mr Forrest’s Linkedin profile says he had been a senior management and marketing consultant for the past 18 months, was a consultant business manager for three months before that, and for 15 months prior to that Director of Operations with a non-profit packaging organisation.

Ms Hayes said he “won the role from an extremely impressive field of candidates from the Great Southern, Perth and interstate”.

“Mr Forrest and his family have been regular visitors to Albany in recent years and are looking forward to relocating from Perth,” she said.

The CEO job, advertised with a six-figure salary, took two rounds to fill, with initial applicants asked not to reapply.

Before the above-mentioned roles, Mr Forrest was for more than five years State Business Development Manager for Coles Online.

Coles recently said it would employ more people at its two Albany stores if the City of Albany relaxed restrictions on it trading on weeknights and Sundays (‘Employment trade-off’, April 19).

Asked what Mr Forrest’s Coles experience might mean for Albany’s ongoing shopping hours debate, Ms Hayes said she would have to ask him herself.

“He might have some insights that might be useful to all of us in that regard,” she said.

“But definitely that’s a question I want to ask him too.”

The Chamber has long supported all businesses’ rights to trade whenever they like.

For three years before his Coles appointment, Mr Forrest was National Sales, Marketing and Export Manager at Barwick Wines, and for 14 months before that an export advisor with Austrade.

Earlier in his career, he had stints as a manager with David Jones and Goldmark Jewellers.

The Scotch College and Curtin University graduate is due to take up his new role today.