Lara-PoloniGLOBAL professional services consultancy AECOM has announced the appointment of Lara Poloni as chief executive – Australia New Zealand (ANZ).

Ms Poloni replaces Michael Batchelor, who is stepping down as chief executive to pursue opportunities outside AECOM.

Formerly AECOM’s managing director – Southern Australia, Ms Poloni has been a key member of AECOM’s Australia New Zealand executive team for several years, commencing her AECOM career 20 years ago as an urban planner in its legacy Maunsell business in Melbourne.

Reporting to AECOM President, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Tony Shum, Ms Poloni now assumes leadership of AECOM’s 3,000+ team in 20 offices across Australia and New Zealand.

She will continue leading AECOM’s work with clients on several of the region’s most critical infrastructure projects, including Sydney’s WestConnex and NorthConnex, Brisbane’s Underground Bus & Train and Moreton Bay Rail projects, Christchurch’s Metro Sports facility, and the long-term planning for the Port of Hastings in Victoria.

She will also oversee AECOM’s involvement in some of Australia’s most iconic projects in the property and urban development sector.

“It is a great privilege to lead AECOM’s tremendously talented team as we continue to evolve and grow,” said Ms Poloni.

“I look forward to working closely with our clients to successfully deliver projects that are making a difference to our cities’ connectivity, functionality and long-term aspirations.”

Mr Shum said Ms Poloni’s ability and experience made her an ideal choice to lead AECOM’s Australia New Zealand business.

“Lara is well-known and respected not just by our own people, but by AECOM’s clients and partners,” he said.

“Her experience in various leadership roles over the years positions AECOM – and by extension our clients’ projects – in safe hands going forward.”

Ms Poloni said she was focused on working with AECOM’s ANZ, APAC and Global leadership – including new AECOM President and chief executive Mike Burke – to help AECOM achieve its vision of becoming the world’s premier fully-integrated infrastructure firm.Mr Shum paid tribute to Mr Batchelor’s contribution to AECOM over a career spanning 25 years, including the last 20 months as Chief Executive.

“Michael’s efforts have seen our business adapt and respond to a challenging market, aligning our ANZ structure with that of AECOM’s globally, and allowing us to continue leveraging the strengths of AECOM’s global team of 45,000 people in 150 countries,” he said.

Ms Poloni will be based in AECOM’s Melbourne office.