IT'S irony at its best.
The mining companies which helped to topple Kevin Rudd from the country’s top job may very well be lining up to offer him a new position, according to a business expert.
QUT’s Professor Peter Little said Mr Rudd may be feeling gloomy about losing his station as Prime Minister but he could look forward to an “extremely bright future” if he chose to cross into the corporate world.
He said Mr Rudd’s outstanding qualifications, skill set, dedication as a worker and his extensive international contact list would make him highly-coveted amongst large corporations – particularly the mining industry.
“The fact that he’s a Mandarin-speaker and he has the intellectual capacity, the discipline and the practical experience at an extremely high level…I’d be very surprised if he didn’t have a number of offers within the next six months,” he said.
“He’s been such a confident performer, he’s got a very good network of people around the world and, importantly, he would never be intimidated by bosses at the highest level of an organisation and would have no problem negotiating with them.”
Prof Little conceded there might be some in the mining industry who would “take some time” to forgive him for the super tax, but that it would unlikely stop them from wanting to hire him.
“If you’re a large corporation, you want the best talent you can get for your business,” he said.
“And whatever else you say about him, you could not say he wasn’t supremely talented. He’s got a rare set of skills and the mining companies which maligned him could well be the next to pursue him.”
Prof Little said Mr Rudd’s post-government success was likely to surpass that of other politicians who have gone into business, such as Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.
“If you look at Hawke and Keating – they’ve done these sorts of positions in the business world since leaving politics, including dealings in China – but I think Kevin Rudd could do even better.
“His interest in the Chinese language, its culture and the relationships he has formed with China could really see him in a unique position as far as employment goes.
“Equally, I think there’d be roles for him in places like the International Monetary Fund or any European bank.
Prof Little said the next six months would see the “dust settle” on Mr Rudd’s shock dismissal and that it was likely he would use that time to re-think his future.
“It strikes me that his opportunities outside of politics would be far superior to those within politics,” he said.
“Whatever he decides to do, the fact is we don’t have tens of thousands of people in this country who are capable of negotiating at the highest level of corporate entities or government – so if he decided to cross to the corporate world he would be extremely, extermely, successful.”