Gig guide: Sims’ step up, Senate President out early

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Australia’s competition czar has landed a top role with an international group of regulators where he will coordinate their approach to the digital economy and the government’s Senate president has flagged an early departure.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims has been appointed as vice-chair Digital Co-ordination of the International Competition Network (ICN), a two decade old group of national and multinational competition law enforcement authorities.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims will coordinate international regulators’ approach to the digital economy.

Mr Sims, who led Australia’s landmark review of digital platforms that triggered more scrutiny and regulation of Big Tech locally will now coordinate ICN’s projects and discussions about competition in the digital economy, as well as acting as a liaison for the APAC regulators.

“Competition authorities around the world have much to discuss and learn from each other as we continue to face the challenges posed by the need to promote competition and good consumer outcomes in many areas of the digital economy,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC chair is pushing for new merger and acquisition laws in Australia, partly to deal with the impact of digital platforms buying up smaller innovators and competitors.

One of the companies in Mr Sims’ crosshairs lost its long serving technology chief this week.

Facebook executive Mike Schroepfer announced he was stepping down as the company’s chief technology officer after 13 years at the tech giant.

He will transition to the company’s first “senior fellow” role on a part time basis and be replaced by the company’s augmented reality lead, Andrew Bosworth.

The president of the Australian Senate Scott Ryan will quit parliament nine months earlier than planned.

The Victorian Liberal said Friday he had informed upper house colleagues he will resign at the resumption of parliament on October 16. Mr Ryan, who has spent almost 15 years in parliament, was elected Senate President in 2017. His departure opens a casual vacancy for the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party.

Leanne Smith has been appointed as the Australian Human Rights Commission’s next chief executive. She joins from the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University, where she has been executive director since 2017.

Western Sydney Local Health District former chief executive Danny O’Connor will chair the New South Wales Government’s TAFE advisory board.

Dr Geoff Newcombe, Alison Mirams, Katrina Troughton, Isaiah Dawe, Adam Liaw, and John Borghetti have been named as advisory board members.

Consultancy giant KPMG has added Sally Torgoman as a partner in its infrastructure business where she will focus on clean energy transactions associated with the de-carbonisation of Australia’s economy. Ms Torgoman has worked for Ausgrid, an electric vehicle company, Origin Energy and most recently was a managing director at PwC.

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