Star names Katsibouba as permanent chief financial officer

Star Entertainment Group has announced the appointment of Christina Katsibouba as its new permanent chief financial officer with effect from 1 January.


Katsibouba has been serving in the role on a temporary basis since May last year following the resignation of Harry Theodore but will now take up the position permanently.

She joined Star in April 2015 as general manager of finance transformation before going on to become group financial controller, deputy CFO and group executive for gaming, prior to taking on the interim CFO role last year.

Before her time with Star, Katsibouba spent almost five years with Salmat, and she also had a spell as financial controller for the Apparel Group and as a senior manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“I am delighted to announce that Christina has accepted the position as CFO of The Star; Christina is a passionate and experienced gaming executive having worked in the sector for more than seven years,” Star managing director and chief executive Robbie Cooke said.

“Christina’s finance experience extends over 25 years and traverses the gaming, retail and marketing sectors as well as experience in public practice. I look forward to working closely with Christina as we continue our focus on returning The Star to suitability and earning back the trust and confidence of all our stakeholders.”

Turbulent year for Star

The appointment followed a hard 12 months for Star, which ended with the operator having its licence suspended in Queensland due to a series of failings. The state also issued Star with a fine of AU$100.0m (£56.4m/€63.9m/US$67.9m) over the same case.

A review, which was announced in June 2022, examined a range of issues and unearthed a host of institutional failings. Many of these were broadly aligned with those uncovered by Adam Bell SC’s report into Star’s activities in New South Wales, where the operator was also found unsuitable to hold a licence.

Last month, it was also announced that Ben Heap was to step down as chair of Star after he was named among a host of current and former directors and former executives that will face civil proceedings from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The cases relate to section 180(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), which references the requirement for a company officeholder to “exercise their powers and discharge their duties with care and diligence”. This, ASIC said, was also in relation to findings from investigations into Star’s activities in New South Wales and Queensland,

Alongside Heap, who was appointed chairman in June this year after a spell as interim chair, ASIC confirmed Katie Lahey as the other current Star director who will face civil proceedings.

A total of 11 current and former directors and executives will face proceedings, including ex-chair John O’Neill, former CEO and managing director Matthias Bekier, as well as Richard Sheppard, Gerard Bradley, Sally Pitkin and Zlatko Todorcevski, all of whom are no longer with Star.