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Primary Health announces new chief executive

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Primary Health Care has poached an executive from its rival Sonic to run the company after Peter Gregg’s decision to step down to fight charges of falsifying company records when he was at Leighton Holdings.

Primary on Tuesday announced it would appoint Malcolm Parmenter as managing director with a start date in September.

Malcolm Parmenter, pictured in 2007, will lead Primary Health Care. Malcolm Parmenter, pictured in 2007, will lead Primary Health Care. Photo: Angela Brkic

Mr Gregg, who has strenuously denied any wrongdoing, will continue in his role until September.

“Peter has done a great job at Primary and, since January, has continued to undertake his duties in the best interests of the company and with great energy,” Primary chairman Rob Ferguson.said. 

Rob Ferguson, Primary's chairman, faced criticism over his handling of the CEO's departure. Rob Ferguson, Primary’s chairman, faced criticism over his handling of the CEO’s departure. Photo: Jessica Hromas

Mr Ferguson said Dr Parmenter’s appointment followed a thorough internal and external selection process.

“Malcolm brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in the operation of medical centres in Australia, with over nine years’ tenure as chief executive of Independent Practitioner Network Limited, both as a listed company and under the ownership of Sonic Healthcare, and subsequently two years as chief executive of Sonic Clinical Services.

“Malcolm’s experience in healthcare policy regulation is extensive. He was most recently a member of the Federal Health Minister’s Primary Healthcare Advisory Group into chronic and complex illnesses. He has also been a member of the senior executive committee of Sonic Pathology.

“With Malcolm’s long involvement in the healthcare sector and his proven track record, the Primary Board is delighted to appoint Malcolm to this role.  We believe he is an excellent fit for Primary and is ideally placed to lead the Company through the next stage of its evolution.”

Primary Health Care chief executive Peter Gregg has received support from shareholders. Primary Health Care chief executive Peter Gregg has received support from shareholders. Photo: Daniel Munoz

Dr Parmenter said he was “honoured and excited” about the new role.

“This company has a great footprint of healthcare assets in Australia.  It is undergoing a strategic transformation while focusing on improving cash flow and return on investment,” he said.

“Furthermore, the healthcare sector in Australia remains one with strong underlying growth and real opportunities from innovation in technology. Efficient players who can both capitalise on the fundamentals and drive change will thrive.”

The Primary announcement said that Dr Parmenter currently led a network of over 2000 GPs with annual revenue of around $400 million.

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