MICHAEL Parker is the new chief executive officer of Fremantle Ports and is to take up the role this week

A statement from the Western Australia government said Mr Parker has strong expertise and knowledge of the state’s economy and industry and would be a “real asset” to the organisation.

The statement said his selection by Fremantle Ports’ board will enhance a capable executive and management team which has managed the organisation safely through COVID-19 to date.

Fremantle Ports’ previous CEO, Chris Leatt-Hayter, announced his retirement in September of last year and left the role in January. He joined Fremantle Ports in 1992 and was appointed CEO in December 2008.

Mr Parker was formerly managing director and chairman of Alcoa of Australia, an integrated bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting company.

Mr Parker was selected from a wide field of applicants due to his extensive experience, qualifications and skill set.

Mr Parker has held other roles with Alcoa, including Director Business Development and Marketing and Vice-President Alcoa Materials Management in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA – a role with responsibility for the company’s North American road, rail and shipping transportation.

He has held a range of executive and non-executive directorships; he is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; and a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Western Australia ports minister Rita Saffioti said Mr Parker’s expertise and experience leading a large mining and commodities organisation and knowledge of the Western Australian economy and industry will be highly valuable.

:Mr Parker has spent the majority of a 25 years-plus career with Alcoa of Australia, gaining wide experience in mining and processing, global business operations, commercial management and supply chain optimisation,” Ms Saffioti said.

“He has a strong background in strategic planning, corporate governance and workplace culture, which I’m confident will further strengthen Fremantle Ports’ capacity to meet challenges and take advantage of trade opportunities in the years ahead.

“I look forward to him working with stakeholders and assisting with planning for the development of a new container port and terminal in Kwinana, which will require the best planning and expertise from Fremantle Ports.”