Board of Directors

  • Michael Wright

    Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer
    Michael Wright was appointed Executive Chair of Thiess in February 2020 and Chief Executive Officer in July 2021. Michael has over 30 years’ experience across the resources & industrial industries in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Prior to being appointed to the joint role of Executive Chair and CEO of Thiess, Michael was the CEO of ASX listed CIMIC Group, responsible for leading Sedgman, UGL, CPB Contractors, Leighton Asia and Thiess. He joined Thiess in 1998, starting as a Project Manager, and has held leadership and operational roles in the mining, construction and services sector, giving him expertise across operations, technical, commercial and strategy.  

    Michael is a highly regarded and innovative leader focused on delivering value to clients and inspiring operational excellence by building strong, safe and performance-driven teams. He serves as a Director of the Minerals Council of Australia and the Sustainable Minerals Institute. 

    He holds a Bachelor of Engineering Civil from the University of Sydney and a Master of Engineering Science from the University of New South Wales.
  • Trish Russell

    Company Secretary and General Counsel
    Trish has more than 23 years’ experience providing legal, ethical, commercial, risk and governance advice to mining and construction industries. She joined Thiess in 2005 and was appointed General Counsel and Company Secretary in 2014. Her experience drives a relationship focused approach, delivering best for business outcomes with integrity and robust governance. 

    Graduating with honours in law from the Queensland University of Technology, Trish trained at King Wood Mallesons and Pinsent Masons in Australia and Ireland, as well as serving as a Judge’s Associate in the Federal Court of Australia.  
  • Giorgio Furlani

    Portfolio Manager, Elliot Advisors
    Giorgio is a Portfolio Manager at Elliott, having joined its London office in 2010. At Elliott he focusses on investing in public and private equity and debt securities with a focus on the European market. Before joining Elliott, Giorgio was an investment analyst at Apollo Management in London. Giorgio started his career in the investment banking division of Lehman Brothers.  

    Giorgio holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Bocconi University.
  • Ayezan Malik

    Investment Analyst, Elliot Advisors
    Ayezan is an Investment Analyst at Elliott, having joined its London office in 2020. At Elliott, he focusses on investing in public and private equity and debt securities with a focus on the EMEA markets. Before joining Elliott, he was a private equity associate at Warburg Pincus in London. Ayezan started his career in the investment banking division of J.P. Morgan in New York.

    Ayezan holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Yale University.
  • Juan Santamaria

    Executive Chair, CIMIC
    Juan was appointed Executive Chair in November 2020 and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director on 5 February 2020. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of CPB Contractors, with responsibility for CPB Contractors, Leighton Asia and Broad in all geographies. Juan also held roles as the Managing Director of UGL and Executive General Manager Public Private Partnerships and Construction West at CPB Contractors.

    Prior to CIMIC Group, Juan was CEO of Iridium and CEO and Chief Operating Officer of ACS Infrastructure North America and Canada.  

    Juan holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
  • Robert Cotterill

    Executive General Manager - Strategy, Mergers, Acquisitions, CIMIC
    Appointed Executive General Manager Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions in April 2019. Robert was formerly General Manager Mergers and Acquisitions. Robert has held various positions within the CIMIC Group since 2007, overseeing numerous transactions, including the acquisition of UGL, the creation of Ventia and sale of John Holland, as well as being involved with various private financing and public private partnership infrastructure transactions. He also holds a position as a Director of Ventia.  

    Robert holds a Bachelor of Engineering (in environmental engineering) with Honours and a Master of Commerce from the University of NSW. 
  • Sharon Warburton

    Non-Executive Director
    Sharon is Non-Executive Director for ASX200 Listed Wesfarmers Limited, Worley Limited, Blackmores Limited and Northern Star Resources Limited. She is also Independent Director of Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation and Director of the NFP Foundation for the Perth Children’s Hospital. Sharon is a part time member of the Takeovers Panel, an Adjunct Professor in Leadership and Strategy and the Patron of the Women in MBA Scholarship Programme at Curtin University. Prior to this Sharon had an international executive career in strategy and finance within the construction and resources industry. 

    Educated in Exmouth and Perth, Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree from Curtin University of Technology and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is also a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building.
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