McConnell Dowell Announces Leadership Transition in Australia

Earlier this week, McConnell Dowell Group announced a significant leadership transition with Mario Russo, General Manager South Australia & Western Australia, succeeding Jim Frith as Managing Director of the Group’s Australian Business Unit.

This leadership transition has been planned for some time, and takes place with immediate effect.  Jim will remain with McConnell Dowell, taking some well-deserved long service leave to refresh and recharge after leading the Australian team since 2016. The MCD Executive Leadership team and Board are confident that the time is right to implement this transition which places the Australian Business Unit in a strong position for the future.

Jim has been an integral part of the McConnell Dowell family for more than three decades.  From his appointment as MD Australia in 2016, he played a pivotal role in the Group’s strategic and operational reset, and has presided over an extended period of revenue and profit growth for the business, while maintaining best in class safety performance and staff and customer engagement. Under his leadership, the Australian Business Unit has emerged as a well-respected contractor of choice in the Australian infrastructure sector. 

Jim's successor, Mario Russo, joined McConnell Dowell in 2008 with the Group’s acquisition of Built Environs, and has steadily advanced his leadership skills in project and new business management. His emphasis on customer relationships, delivering high-quality projects on time and within budget, and aligning with the objectives of the Group’s Vision 2025 and Horizon 2030 strategic plans has solidified McConnell Dowell's position as a Tier 1 contractor in South Australia. Mario and his team have also successfully steered the company's re-entry into the Western Australia market and fostered collaboration between the SA infrastructure and vertical building businesses, opening up new opportunities for differentiation.

Reflecting on the change, Mario said that he is “truly honoured to have been appointed as Jim’s successor as MD Australia, and very excited by the opportunities ahead.  Both Jim and Scott have been mentors of mine over the years, and their personal and professional support throughout my career has been invaluable.”

Jim Frith noted that “I am very pleased that Mario, someone I have worked directly with over many years, will be stepping into the MD Australia role as my successor. I have always considered Mario to be an outstanding leader, with a strong future ahead of him. To see him now in a position to fully realise this potential is very satisfying, and is the culmination of a planned succession pathway we have been working on for the past few years. I wish Mario every success in his new role.”

McConnell Dowell Group CEO Scott Cummins said “This leadership transition marks a significant planned change for McConnell Dowell's Australian business. On behalf of the Board and the rest of the business, I thank Jim for his exceptional values-based leadership and extend my congratulations to Mario on his appointment.”