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Who's the boss? Two share the top job in unique business model


It’s been popular with some companies overseas for years but a Sunshine Coast business is showing the way in Australia by appointing two chief executive officers.

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Disability service provider 121 Care is exploring the advantages of shared management by deciding to co-share the CEO role between two women, Kym Chomley and Feda Adra.

The pair have six decades of management experience between them, 121 Care president Faith Baigent said.

“Job sharing is done at lower levels in organisations, but rarely at an executive level, which is what makes this unique and even more exceptional in the not-for-profit sector,” she said.

Corporations such as Netflix and Oracle have begun experimenting with having co-CEOs and it is something of a tradition in European countries with a history of collective management but is rare in Australia.

While Chomley, who has an accounting and finance background, has been heading up the organisation for some time, Adra, former chief of community care company Be, was recently appointed to share CEO responsibilities with her.

“Feda has a wealth of knowledge and experience in aged and community care that will be of tremendous value when combined with Kym’s extensive experience in disability,” Baigent said.

“With Feda on board, we will now have twice the capacity and capability with a broader range of skills and experience that will be of immense value to the business.”

Adra said not all businesses would consider a role share but it was worth considering.

“But for it to work, the parties in the chair must have aligned values, good communication and respect for one another,” she said.


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