Australia Post's new CEO will be paid significantly less than her predecessor.

Former postie Christine Holgate doesn’t mind taking a pay cut to lead Australia Post.

Controversy over her predecessor Ahmed Fahour’s pay packet, which at $5.6 million was about 10 times larger than the prime minister’s, overshadowed much of the outgoing chief executive’s success in transforming the once-struggling business.

Ms Holgate will leave her role as CEO of vitamins and supplements giant Blackmores in September and in October take the reins at Australia Post, where she will receive an annual salary of $1.375 million – with the potential to pocket the same again in incentive payments.

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“Pay has never been the driver for me wanting to do a job,” she told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

“There wasn’t one point in my conversation with the board that I asked them for a salary.”

Ms Holgate said her salary was large but fair, taking into account the pay packets of bosses at comparable organisations.

“It is a large wage but I guess if you compare it to average CEOs running similar-sized companies, it might look like good value,” she said.

Ms Holgate was paid $1.95 million last year at Blackmores, largely due to a near doubling of her short-term incentives and profit share to $1.04 million.

Rebecca Holgate described herself as "good value". (Image via YouTube.)

She was responsible for about 1,000 people at Blackmores but will be in charge of 50,000 at Australia Post.

Ms Holgate said she was passionate about the importance of trade between Australia and Asia, while also defending the future of the postie.

At 18, Ms Holgate took a Christmas job as a postie herself and saw the community role the workers perform.


"They're so trusted and I can't help but think, whilst letters may be declining, that is a very unique place that they have in our society," she said.

Ms Holgate said she was humbled to be the first woman to lead the organisation.

"All of you have sisters, wives or daughters and if anything I hope it can inspire, particularly young women or women in their thirties, that they can step up and have a leadership position too," she said.

"For the women in Australia you can count on me: I'm going to give this every 100 per cent because I know I'll be watched."

Ms Holgate's appointment, which was approved by cabinet last week, was made after a global search pinpointed three external candidates.

The first seeds were sown when Ms Holgate spoke at an Australia Post leadership team event several months ago and Mr Fahour raised the idea of her leading the organisation during a walk back to the hotel.

"I have a lot of respect for the legacy that Ahmed has left behind and my observation that evening was, is, that he left behind - well he is leaving, he hasn't left - a very strong and passionate and committed team," she said.

Do you think a man would take this kind of pay cut?