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Proximity announces new executive leadership team

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Positioning Proximity for long-term growth

Leading Australian professional services organisation, Proximity, has announced changes to its executive leadership team that will better position Proximity for long-term growth and help the organisation deliver on its vision to be the best provider of integrated consulting, legal and commercial services to government and large organisations.

Proximity’s DNA is working closely with clients to deliver practical solutions to their biggest challenges. As the growth of its capability has increased and the opportunities to support its clients have expanded, Proximity has continued to look at how it can best deliver on its vision.

The changes are effective from Monday 6 December 2021, as the company sets itself for a big 2022. Under the revised structure the following changes will be made to the Executive Team:

CEOs: Zoe Lynam and Mike Watson

Advisory Board Chair: Kerri Hartland

Advisory Board Members: Kerri Hartland, Zoe Lynam, Mike Watson, Sean King, James Dunn, and Glenys Beauchamp.

Current Chief Operating Officer, Zoe Lynam will become Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO). She will have joint responsibility for driving the business strategy, while also overseeing the operational areas of technology, marketing and communications, business support and internal strategic projects.

Ms Lynam joined Proximity in 2017 and brought with her expertise and experience in management, finance and operations from both the public and private sector. Before joining Proximity, Zoe was the General Manager for one of Australia’s largest leisure management companies and had also worked for some of Proximity’s current clients, including the Federal Departments of Agriculture and Health. Elevating Zoe to the Co-CEO position was an obvious choice for the organisation given her intimate knowledge of Proximity’s DNA including its people, clients, systems, markets, and the communities it supports. Zoe brings significant focus and drive from her corporate experience and as an elite athlete and Olympic rower.

Zoe will be joined by Mike Watson, who is making a full-time move into the Co-CEO role after five years on the Proximity Advisory Board and two years consulting to the organisation on a range of projects across human resources, client services and organisational transformation. In his new role as Co-CEO, Mike will have joint responsibility for driving the business strategy and driving the sustainable growth agenda. He will also oversee the finance, risk and legal operations of the business. 

Mr Watson has extensive experience in growth strategy, implementation and change management having served as a global Director in M&A and alliances for PricewaterhouseCoopers (London, USA and Australia). In Australia he has held CEO roles with two large eastern sea-board legal firms during their times of significant growth and strategic change. Mike’s strong leadership experience and understanding of Proximity’s bold and collaborative culture make him the right fit for the Co-CEO role.

With Mike coming in full time as Co-CEO, the organisation has amended its Advisory Board to reflect this and bolster its capability with Kerri Hartland appointed the new Advisory Board Chair. Ms Hartland, who is also a Principal Advisor at Proximity, will lead the Advisory Board’s setting of the organisation’s strategic direction and will bring a robust market and client focus. Kerri has significant board experience and is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most experienced former senior public servants and departmental heads.

Proximity co-founders Sean King and James Dunn will continue to sit on the Advisory Board and will also strengthen their existing Executive Manager roles, which see the pair focus on particular areas of the business. Mr King will focus on leading the client service side of the business, particularly on client engagement and supporting Proximity’s client and service leads. Mr Dunn will continue to work closely with the internal People and Community teams to improve the Proximity employee experience to ensure Proximity continues to attract and nurture the very best people to support its clients, and to ensure Proximity’s continued growth, integration and partnerships remain true to the company’s values; bold, genuine and helpful.

“Over the past 18 months we’ve really strengthened our corporate services leadership team – this new executive leadership structure is the next logical step as Proximity continues to mature and grow. It’s all about devolving the business leadership to people who are genuine experts in their field and supporting sustainable growth, with a great team who share the same values we are known for, so we can continue to provide quality support to our clients well into the future.

“The new structure provides more strategic focus for our client and people areas as we grow, but also enables better support and empowerment of the growing leadership roles within Proximity. We are thrilled to see Zoe step up to CEO after making such a great contribution in the COO role. It’s been an honour to support her career and to see her progress within Proximity. And bringing into the fold an experienced professional services executive like Mike speaks volumes for the positive trajectory Proximity is on – and we can’t wait to see what this new team in action.”

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