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Former Telstra chair to head CommBank board

Catherine Livingstone will take up her new role as chairman at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on January 1, 2017.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced the appointment of Catherine Livingstone as its new chair.

Livingstone joined the CBA board as a non-executive director in March, prior to officially stepping down from her role as chair of directors at Telstra in April.

She had held the position with the telco giant since May 2009 and had served previously as a non-executive director there since November 2000. Livingstone was also formally the chief executive officer of Cochlear, and is currently president of the Business Council of Australia, a role she will step down from next month.

At the end of last year, Livingstone was elected as the next University of Technology Sydney (UTS) chancellor, commencing in December 2016, in order to bring a particular focus on research and development (R&D) and innovation to the university.

Livingstone succeeds David Turner at CBA, who announced his retirement on Wednesday.

"Catherine's strong business experience, complemented by her interest in technology and innovation, will mean she will be an excellent and well-qualified chairman," Turner said in a statement.

Livingtone's appointment as chair of CBA will be effective from January 1, 2017, following Turner's retirement on December 31, 2016.