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Sir Ralph Norris joined the Commonwealth Bank as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in September 2005 and he retired from this position in November 2011.
During his six years in the role Sir Ralph helped steer Australia's largest bank through the tumultuous global financial crisis and its purchase of Bank West for just over $2 billion. Formerly he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ASB Bank, the Commonwealth Bank's New Zealand subsidiary, from 1991 and retired from that position in September 2001.
He joined Air New Zealand Limited as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in February 2002, having served on the company's Board of Directors for three years. Sir Ralph left Air New Zealand to take up his appointment as CEO at the Commonwealth Bank.
During his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of ASB, the organisation expanded nationally, grew its profitability six-fold and increased market share by 60 per cent whilst being consistently rated the best financial services provider in New Zealand.
Sir Ralph was credited with leading a turnaround at Air New Zealand by returning the company to profitability and introducing a more customer-focussed culture, for which he was honoured with New Zealand's Executive of the Year Award in 2004. He was previously New Zealand's Executive of the Year in his role at ASB Bank.
Sir Ralph is a former Chairman of the Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) and a Director of the Business Council of Australia. He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business in 2006. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, the New Zealand Computer Society, the Australian Institute of Management and is Chair of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation - he is also former Chairman of the New Zealand Bankers' Association and Business Roundtable.
In April 2012 Sir Ralph joined the Origin Board as an independent non-executive director and became a director of Fonterra in New Zealand in May 2012.
More recently he was presented with the inaugural CIO Lifetime Contribution Award for his significant contribution to the information technology sector - the award acknowledges his influence in paving the way for the recognition of strategic importance of the CIO role; delivering growth and innovation through the proper use of technology in today's competitive marketplace.
One of the handful of CIO's who have reached the top role in business enterprise, Ralph also pioneered a career model for information technology professionals to succeed beyond the sector.