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Mullen in as Toll chairman, Kruger departs

A restructure at Toll Group has seen new roles for some of the biggest names in Australian logistics.

In a statement on December 16 Toll Group confirmed John Mullen as executive chairman effective from January 1, 2017, Michael Byrne as new managing director from January 1, and the retirement of Brian Kruger.

Kruger departs after five years as MD and eight years with the company.

“I have known Brian for many years and greatly respect the contribution that he has made to Toll and to the logistics industry,” incoming chairman John Mullen said,

According to a company statement, Kruger led several transformational changes during the past five years and had an “unwavering focus on the importance of safety”.

“We thank Brian for his tremendous contribution to the company and wish him every success in the future,” Mullen said.

Kruger said it had been an honour to be Toll’s managing director for the past five years. “The acquisition by Japan Post 18-months ago was a clear highlight for me and I have enjoyed being involved in the successful integration of the two companies,” he said.

“I welcome John’s appointment as chairman and know, given his experience as the Global CEO of DHL Express, CEO of Asciano and his current role as chairman of Telstra, he will be an invaluable partner for Michael Byrne.”

Byrne succeeds Kruger as Toll managing director from January 1, following a 14-year career as chief executive with three different companies, most recently with Coates Hire.

Previously he was CEO of Linfox Logistics from 2006 to 2014.

“The chance to join the Toll team is tremendously exciting and a great privilege,” Byrne said. “Toll is a wonderful 128-year-old global company with much history and much potential under Japan Post’s ownership to expand its already leading position in the Australian logistics market as well as overseas.

“I am in particular looking forward to meeting our customers across the world to learn how we can serve them even better.”

Mullen welcomed Byrne to the managing director position and was delighted to have an “executive of his calibre”.

“Michael has an excellent track record in our industry and we are sure will lead Toll to new levels of performance and customer excellence in the years to come,” he said.

Mullen’s appointment as executive chairman also becomes effective from January 1. President and chief executive of Japan Post Co, Mr Yokoyama, said Mullen would bring new perspectives to Toll.

“With Mr Byrne and Mr Mullen joining the leadership team we are confident Toll will steer a path to continued success,” Yokoyama said.

This article originally appeared on Rail Express affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.