Alex Malley

Alex Malley FCPA, is the former chief executive of CPA Australia. He was removed by the CPA board of directors in late June 2017 after months of controversy regarding his excessive salary and the use of CPA funds for self-promotion of his book, The Naked CEO, and TV program.[1][2]

Alex Malley

EducationTrinity Grammar School
Alma materUniversity of New South Wales
(BComm 1983, MComm 1985)
Known forCEO, CPA Australia (2008–17)
Home townStrathfield, New South Wales
TelevisionIn Conversation with Alex Malley


Malley began his career working at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.[3] He quit the job and began working at the University of Western Sydney. He began as an accounting academic at Macquarie University in 1993 and his employment was terminated for allegedly giving extra grading points for students signing up for his wife's training courses. In 2007 he was elected president of the professional accounting body in 2007.[3][4] Within a year, he stepped down as President and became the CEO of the organisation in 2008.[3]

CPA AustraliaEdit

As CEO of CPA Australia, Malley came under significant criticism in the media and from CPA members in 2017 for his A$1.8 million annual salary and for the significant amounts of CPA funds going towards promoting Malley and his personal interests, such as a paid television show and Malley's autobiography, The Naked CEO.[5] The scandal surrounding Malley, combined with broader member discontent over executive changes that made the board unaccountable and debts accrued from the establishment of a financial planning arm, led to the resignation of the CPA president and two board members by June 2017. The two resigning board members, Richard Alston and Kerry Ryan, cited the presence of "board allies of chief executive Alex Malley" refusing to "allow a wide-ranging review of Mr Malley and the organisation" as their main reason.[6]

On 15 June, a further three directors resigned due to the expanding scandal surrounding Malley and the remaining board initiated an "independent review" of all claims made against CPA and its CEO, to be chaired by former chief of the Australian Defence Force, Sir Angus Houston.[5] However, even the decision to create the review came under criticism when it was revealed that Houston had appeared as guest on Malley's TV program and had written a glowing foreword in Malley's book.[7] Houston later resigned his post in favour of former Commonwealth Auditor-General, Ian McPhee.[5]

Facing a significant swelling of discontent amongst CPA members, on 23 June 2017 it was announced that the CPA board had terminated the contract of Malley, resulting in CPA paying out the remainder of his contract to the sum of A$4.9 million.[8][9] The subsequent review report released in September 2017 found that the "chief executive was overpaid, [CPA Australia] had lost touch with its members and provided questionable value for money for the services it rendered."[10][11] In addition to CPA's "over-emphasis on marketing and brand building activities that centred on the former CEO", the review in particular noted the excessive CEO's salary, with its many increases over several years not being justified by organisational growth.[12]


  1. ^ "CPA chief Alex Malley sacked, will walk away with $4.9m". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  2. ^ "CPA Australia money trail: Why accountants want a closer look at their organisation's books – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Patrick, Aaron; Durkin, Patrick (13 June 2017). "CPA Australia's Alex Malley: the world's most ambitious accountant". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  4. ^ "A brief history of Alex Malley's unraveling CPA fiasco". Crikey. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Aston, Joe (24 January 2018). "Alex Malley: What a difference a year makes". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  6. ^ Aston, Joe; Tadros, Edmund; Patrick, Aaron; Durkin, Patrick (7 June 2017). "Richard Alston quits CPA Australia board over governance". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  7. ^ Letts, Stephen (16 June 2017). "CPA chief Alex Malley keeps his job but faces 'fiercely independent' review over ongoing controversy". ABC News. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  8. ^ Hobday, Liz (24 June 2017). "CPA terminates contract with chief executive Alex Malley". ABC News. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  9. ^ Aston, Joe; Tadros, Edmund (23 June 2017). "CPA Australia CEO Alex Malley sacked". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ Letts, Stephen (15 September 2017). "CPA review finds CEO overpaid and organisation 'out of touch' with members". ABC News. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  11. ^ Tadros, Edmund (7 August 2017). "Inside story of Alex Malley's final days at CPA Australia". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  12. ^ Pash, Chris (14 September 2017). "CHARTS: How the salary of CPA Australia's chief executive grew faster than membership". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 7 May 2018.

Published worksEdit