Paul Little comments on Toll restructure

Ex-Toll boss, Paul Little, has criticised the course the logistics company has taken since he stepped down at the end of 2011.

In an interview with The Weekend Australian, Little said the Melbourne company’s legacy had been “trashed’’ and that a cultural shift was needed to survive in the increasingly cutthroat global logistics market.

Little’s remarks come on the back of Japan Post revealing it would book a .6 billion (A$4.8 billion) writedown on Toll after acquiring the business for some $6.5 billion in 2015.

Little not only criticised the ousting of a number of long-serving senior executives since his departure, but also disapproved of the cultural change he observed over the past half-decade.

“Toll’s legacy has been trashed — it has gone from being a strong, proud and aggressive group to one that is being forced to undergo major surgery with retrenchments and a major restructure,” he told the newspaper.

Little said the culture inside Toll had changed from a “can-do culture’’ to one of “cost cutting and disposal of assets and shrinking the business’’.

At its peak under Little’s reign – which was characterised by an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy – Toll’s market value reached $8 billion and it had 50,000 employees, according to The Weekend Australian.

Last week, Toll announced a major restructure under the oversight of Japan Post’s head of global logistics strategy, Hiroshi Shiraishi, one of the architects of the Toll acquisition.

According to The Weekend Australian, however, Little does not seem to approve of the move: “The Japanese need to empower the Australian management if they are going to turn Toll around into a successful corporation,” Little told the newspaper.

“Toll is not a yield play, Toll is a growth play. Logistics now is a global playground and you need to have global cross-border capability to survive.”

Photo: Retired Toll Managing Director, Brian Kruger (left), and former CEO, Paul Little (right) in 2011.

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