COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd resigns after 18 months on the job

Alexi Boyd has resigned as CEO of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), a peak small business advocacy group, after an 18-month tenure. 

Board Chairman Matthew Addison stated that Alexi Boyd had been the CEO of the organisation during a challenging time for small businesses in Australia. These challenges included the ongoing impact of the pandemic, rising costs, staff shortages, natural disasters, and an increased threat of cyber-attacks.

According to Addison, Boyd had successfully navigated these issues as the organisation’s leader. “As CEO, Alexi has skilfully represented the interests of small businesses in two federal budgets and a federal election.

“In addition, she has worked collaboratively with a new federal parliament to meet the diverse needs of our members during a time of major upheaval,” Mr Addison said.

“Alexi represented small businesses at the Jobs and Skills Summit, initiated and led the development of the COSBOA Cyber Wardens initiative with sponsorship from corporate Australia, advocated for consideration of small business in Consumer Data Rights and the Respect @ Work legislation for government-funded family and domestic violence leave, and established COSBOA’s quarterly Small Business Data Report.”

During her time as CEO, COSBOA established a relationship with the new Labor government. However, the group later faced controversy after changing its stance on multi-employer bargaining. Boyd’s departure follows tumultuous events.

According to media reports, Alexi Boyd faced criticism from some small business community members after signing a memorandum of understanding with trade unions. This MOU was publicly endorsed by the Albanese government at the Jobs and Skills Summit in September as a show of support for multi-employer bargaining, which allows different employers to negotiate terms and conditions of employment with a single union. 

Later in December, sweeping industrial relations legislation that included provisions for multi-employer bargaining passed parliament. However, COSBOA later withdrew its support for the government’s proposals and joined other employer and industry groups in calling for the legislation to be revisited. Boyd faced further controversy when she appeared alongside Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus at the summit, supporting multi-employer bargaining.

According to her statement, Boyd said resigning from her position as CEO of COSBOA is the best decision for both herself and the organisation.  “It has been an incredible 18 months, and I feel this is the best decision for me and COSBOA,” Ms Boyd said.

“After time spent at home over the summer break, I plan to spend more time with my family. I look forward to keeping engaged with COSBOA’s future and will always be on hand to help out.” 

Alexi Boyd will be leaving her position as CEO of COSBOA on January 25, 2023. During this transition period, Board Chairman Matthew Addison will oversee CEO activities with the help of other board members, COSBOA’s Chief Operating Officer Will Harris, and the head of engagement, Catherine Donnan. 

It is still being determined at this time who will be taking over as CEO of COSBOA after Boyd’s departure.

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