There will be no apology. But former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate will at least get some form of payback for what she has experienced following her fall over the Cartier watches scandal.
And it’s a payout that costs a lot more than the $5000 a-piece watches that Holgate was dragged over the coals for signing off on as a bonus for four executives, who had landed a massive major banking deal.
Holgate has received a $1 million payout from her former employer, following a negotiated settlement announced today that will also see her receiving $100,000 to cover her legal bills.
In a joint statement released Wednesday morning, Australia Post acknowledged that it lost an effective CEO in late 2020, and that the payment has been made without any admission of liability.
“Australia Post acknowledges that it has lost an effective CEO following the events on the morning of 22 October 2020. Australia Post regrets the difficult circumstances surrounding Ms Holgate’s departure from her role as CEO,” it read.
“Australia Post recognises and thanks Ms Holgate for her outstanding contribution and strong leadership during her employment as CEO of Australia Post. Australia Post wishes Ms Holgate the best in her future endeavours.”
Holgate will receive the million dollar payment as an “employment termination payment”, which accounts for around eight months of her salary.
The Chair of Australia Post Lucio Di Bartolomeo– as well as Prime Minister Scott Morrison who publicly humiliated Holgate by demanding that “she should go” on the floor of Parliament — must both be wondering if it was all worth it.
Because it’s not just about one million dollars.
Holgate also has a new job, recently appointed as CEO of Australia Post rival, Global Express, taking on the job within days of her non-compete clause with Australia Post expiring.
Let’s also not forget that she used her time appearing in front of a Senate Estimates committee to describe how she was “driven to despair”, “humiliated by a prime minister” and “thrown under the bus of the chairman of Australia Post, to curry favour with his political master”, as well as to tell the men who put her in that position that she is “still here and I’m stronger for surviving it.”
Meanwhile, of course, Holgate also took the opportunity of that very public appearance to call out the “bullying, harassment and abuse of power” she has witnessed, and that she believed the way she was treated was a gender issue. She noted the recent reports of corruption in Parliament that were aired around the same time that Morrison demanded she leave Australia Post, as well as the fact he had members in his Cabinet “accused of the most terrible atrocities against women”. Holgate compared all of this to what she had been publicly humiliated for doing, “I bought four watches, two years ago.”
Indeed, Holgate left Australia Post with a powerful voice that is willing and able to call out hypocrisy, bullying and sexism.
She’s said multiple times that she is expecting an apology from the Prime Minister, telling Channel Nine back in May that she hadn’t heard from him, yet: “He can find my internet and I will take his call any day.”
She may not get the apology. But Holgate is certainly getting other forms of retribution. Particularly now able to use her leadership talent and experience managing a major delivery and logistics experience to drive the “potential” of Global Express, with 8000 workers across Australia and New Zealand and growing.