Fletcher Building has announced former Air NZ and Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief executive Ralph Norris as its new chairman.

Current chairman Ralph Waters today confirmed his retirement from the board of the NZX's biggest listed company on October 21.

Norris is currently an independent, non-executive director of Fletcher.

Waters joined Fletcher Building in 2001 as chief executive officer and served in that role until 2006. Waters remained on the board of the company as a non-executive director, and took over as Chairman in March 2010.


Norris is also a director of Fonterra and Origin Energy and a former director of the Business Council of Australia, and former chairman of the International Monetary Conference, Sovereign Insurance, the NZ Bankers' Association, NZ Business Roundtable and the Australian Bankers' Association. He is a member of the NZ Olympic Advisory Committee and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Advisory Board.

Waters welcomed Sir Ralph's appointment as chairman.

"Sir Ralph had led large organisations in both New Zealand and Australia, and his extensive experience will be of great benefit to Fletcher Building which has substantial operations in both countries", he said.

Norris said Fletcher Building "had a proud history that dates back over a century, and it will be a privilege to chair the company over the next period of its growth and development."