Speaking at Meet the CEO, Richard Goyder, Managing Director of Wesfarmers, discussed the challenges of managing one of Australia's largest listed companies.

He told the Australian School of Business alumni event at UNSW that recruiting talent is the key to managing such a diverse range of companies.

"I want to make sure we are a long way forward in the talent situation, because I think that is the biggest issue that CEOs will face over the next 10 years in Australia: how do you attract, retain and develop good people in the organisation?"

In an interview with Narelle Hooper, editor of the AFR's Boss Magazine, Mr Goyder also spoke about his management style, discussing the importance of encouraging the heads of the separate companies within Wesfarmers to make their own decisions, but to collaborate when it makes business sense.

Wesfarmers took over Coles in 2007, just before the global financial crisis. Mr Goyder described what the GFC taught him: "When you are looking forward, and when you are expecting a range of outcomes, those outcomes can be far greater, far wider, than you might have expected. And that's a good lesson for the future."

Mr Goyder gave the audience an insight into how he responds to being in the media spotlight. "I think being based in Perth is really helpful. It's a long way to come and see us. So we get to think a bit, and we get to do things out of the limelight. I think that's really good," he says.

Meet the CEO brings together Australian School of Business alumni, sponsors and donors, giving access to business leaders whose innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership are changing the business landscape.

Read the full story at the ASB newsroom. Watch the video highlights on YouTube.

Media contact: Marie Kelly | 9385 5895 | mariek@unsw.edu.au