Premiers Evolution – New CEO & COO


We are excited to share that our very own Chi Shankar has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of Premier Cranes & Rigging effective immediately..

But there is more… Jamie Shanahan will also be stepping up into the Chief Operating Officer role!

With the first phase of Premier’s evolution now complete, our structure and operations have been developed and systemised. As part of this transformation, a leadership team was established with departmental functions, supporting the CEO and COO roles.

Aligned with the entrepreneurial vision of Steve Warton and Matt Clark, Chi and Jamie will be developing and executing Premier’s strategy.

Entering the next phase of scaling the business, Steve and Matt can focus on designing the vision and future of Premier and dedicating themselves to our clients and target markets.

Chi Shankar – New CEO

Previously Premier’s COO for a number of years, Chi is integrated across all areas of Premier and has strong relationships with all team members. With over 12 years experience across a range of sub contractor industries, a Chartered Accountant background, and registered as a Commercial and Residential builder, the decision for Chi Shankar to become the successor of Premier was an obvious choice!

Chi has a passion for identifying areas for improvement and strategically designing the best way to implement them. With her growth mindset, strong commercial and client engagement skills, she is capable of leading Premier to achieve a whole new level of success. Having combined work and study from a young age and later on with work and family, discipline is embedded in her.

With the support of Steve as her mentor, Chi was empowered to believe that her career could continue to thrive as her family did. Through hard work, dedication, and with Steve driving her to overcome challenges, they achieved great success together.

“It is such an exciting opportunity to work with two directors I really respect, to lead and execute their vision for Premier. I have worked at the intersection of business and construction to be part of delivering successful projects. My goal is to strengthen and develop Premier’s position in the market as a leading and dynamic crane company” says Chi, Premier Cranes’ CEO.

Jamie Shanahan – New COO

Previously Premier’s Head of Business Development, Jamie will be stepping up as our new COO.

Jamie has been in senior management in the crane industry for almost 15 years.
Coming from an elite sports background (AFL at St. Kilda & Melbourne) he is a high achiever with a diverse background (AFL Coach, General Manager, and studying towards a Masters Degree in Gestalt Therapy) and a focus on finance.

As an outcome-focused leader, Jamie manages teams with empathy and constructively challenges team members to work through problems and create solutions in line with Premier’s strategy.

“I’m energised to take on a role that allows me to utilise the experiences I have gained from many years of senior management in the mobile crane industry and from my career playing and coaching elite professional sport.

Working with people in a team-based environment is what I love and the culture within Premier Cranes allows me to bring the qualities that I value – preparation, persistence and resourcefulness – to life in a collaborative, approachable and open-minded way.”

Steve Warton – Director & Head of Business Development

Steve passionately believes that Premier is a market disruptor in the crane industry.

Starting a business to Steve was about empowering employees to see their long-term future centered around Premier. Not willing to follow the pack, Steve sought to establish a best practice, systems-based business structure allowing for transparency and consistency within each job role.

Team members understand each other’s responsibility in achieving common goals and are empowered by the autonomy provided. Within this framework, the culture of #TeamLifting is upheld.

Steve’s humility in acknowledging that the #TeamLifting culture will be upheld by Chi as our CEO is a prime example of his forward way of thinking.

As he steps down as Premier’s CEO, Steve will take up a hands-on role in Business Development, leading our team to understand and support the needs of our clients and target markets, while having the confidence that Chi and Jamie can execute Premier’s strategy effectively.

“Matt and I started Premier 13 years ago, with a client focus and can-do attitude. Today, it is a progressive thinking organisation with a decentralised management structure that empowers employees to deliver the same successful outcome for our clients,” says Steve, founder and director.

Every day at every level of the business team members make decisions, and with each decision, the first question they ask is, “are we putting the Client first? How will this benefit them?”

Premier is a progressive business with a focus on diversity and the empowerment of our own team.

We wish Chi, Jamie & Steve a prosperous career in collaboratively elevating Premier to new levels of success #TeamLifting